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A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



A 

REFERENCE HISTORY 

OF THE WAR 



COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY 

IRWIN SCOFIELD GUERNSEY, M.A. 



WITH A PREFACE BY 

FRANK MOORE COLBY 

EDITOR OF THE NEW INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA 



NEW YORK 
DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY 



r ^^^^r^ ua J 






5 &' 



Copyright, 1920, by 
Dodd, Mead and Compant, Inc. 



1 1320 
©CI.A601548 



PREFACE 

This volume has been prepared in order to meet the ever increasing de- 
mand for a reliable authentic history of the war in all its phases in one volume. 
Almost all the histories of the war that have been published to date have been 
written on specific aspects of the tremendous struggle. Those that cover the 
entire subject have been set before the public in many volumes, and, as a con- 
sequence, demand a large amount of time on the part of the reader. After 
the armistice was signed and the Peace Conference finished, the publishers 
of this volume determined to offer the reading public a compact history of the 
war in a single volume. This has been done with the result that a compre- 
hensive but not detailed history of the war has been produced. It is nar- 
rated in an entertaining, scholarly style. The various chapter headings, War 
in Brief, Underlying Causes of the War, Military Operations, Naval Opera- 
tions, Aerial Operations, Destruction of Art and Architecture, Alleged Atroci- 
ties, Peace Terms and War Aims, Neutral Nations, Economic and Financial 
Aspects, Peace Conference and Peace Treaties, etc., will show at a glance 
the scope of the volume. An index and bibliography of the most accessible 
books on the war have also been included. The material for the history of the 
war was gathered from the most reliable contemporary sources, and was edited 
from time to time in order to include new facts that were unearthed or to 
delete material that had been assumed true at the time it was incorporated 
but later proved contrary to fact. The basic material presented for the first 
two years was contributed by several members of the staff of the New In- 
ternational Encyclopaedia, namely, Colonel Cornells De Witt Wilcox, 
U. S. A. ; Professor F. H. Hankins ; Professor Nelson P. Mead ; Captain Lewis 
Sayre Van Duzer, U. S. N. ; Mr. Herbert T. Wade; and Mr. Irwin Scofield 
Guernsey. The bulk of the work has been done by Mr. Irwin Scofield Guernsey. 

Frank Moore Colby, Editor-in-Chief, 
New International Encyclopaedia. 



CONTENTS 



I. The War in Brief 



II. Underlying Causes of the 

War 5 

National Antagonisms; Pan-German- 
ism; Military Alliances; Economic 
Causes. 

III. Outbreak of the War . . 18 

Austria's Demands; the Serbian Re- 
ply; Germany and Russia; Ger- 
many and France; Great Britain 
and Germany; Question of Belgian 
Neutrality; Italy's Position; Ja- 
pan's Position; The Balkan States, 
Bulgaria, Greece, Rumania; Por- 
tugal ; Czecho-Slovakia. 

IV. Military Operations . . 39 

Mobilization and Concentration; Gen- 
eral Strategy and Resources; 
Equipment of the Armies; West- 
ern Theatre; American Expedition- 
ary Force; Eastern Theatre; Rus- 
sian Revolution; The Bolsheviki; 
Southern Theatre; Southeastern 
Theatre; Colonies. 

V. Naval Operations . . . 177 

Operations in the North Sea and the 
Waters about Great Britain; Oper- 
ations in the Mediterranean; Opera- 
tions in the Black Sea and Darda- 
nelles; Cruiser Operations in the At- 
lantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans; 
Naval Strategy of the War; Some 
Naval Lessons of the War. 

VI. Aerial Operations . . . 207 

Estimated Participants and Casual- 
ties. 



VII. Alleged Atrocities . . 219 

Belgium; Armenia; Poland; Serbia; 
France. 

VIII. Destruction of Art and 

Architecture . . 225 

IX. Neutral Nations at Beginning 

of War .... 227 

United States; Scandinavian Coun- 
tries; Netherlands; Switzerland; 
South American Countries; Other 
Countries. 

X. Peace Proposals and State- 

ments of War Aims 273 

XI. Relief Measures . . . 2,98 

Commission for Relief in Belgium; 
Belgium Relief Fund; Jewish Re- 
lief; Other Funds; Red Cross. 

XII. Financial and Economic As- 

pects 304 

International Exchange and Banking 
Problems; Currency; Employment 
and Wages; American Foreign 
Trade; World Trade; Foreign 
Credits; Prices and Food Supplies; 
Cost of the War. 

XIII. Peace Conference and 

Treaties of Peace 331 

XIV. Bibliography .... 386 

Historical Background; Military 
Operations; Naval Operations; 
Aerial Operations; Economic As- 
pects; Finances. 



A REFERENCE HISTORY 
OF THE WAR 



I. THE WAR IN BRIEF 



On June 28, 1914, the Austrian heir- 
apparent, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, 
and his wife were assassinated at Sara- 
jevo, the capital of Bosnia. Accusing 
Serbia of complicity in the crime and 
alleging that the anti-Austrian machi- 
nations of Serbian patriots menaced 
the integrity of the Hapsburg Em- 
pire, Austria-Hungary on July 23, 
1914, delivered an ultimatum contain- 
ing demands with which the Serbian 
government would only partially com- 
ply. Despite the diplomatic remon- 
strances of other powers, Austria- 
Hungary refused to submit the mat- 
ter to peaceful arbitration and declar- 
ed war on Serbia, July 28, 1914. The 
Russian government, frankly sympa- 
thetic with Serbia, ordered the mobili- 
zation of the Russian army and de- 
clined to countermand the order, 
whereupon the German government de- 
clared what it considered to be a de- 
fensive war against Russia, August 1, 
1914. Two days later Germany de- 
clared war against Russia's ally, 
France. Preparatory to an invasion 
of France, German troops had al- 
ready occupied Luxemburg, August 2, 
and begun to invade Belgium, August 
4, notwithstanding Belgium's opposi- 
tion. The British government con- 
strued the German violation of Bel- 



gian neutrality as a casus belli and 
declared war against Germany, August 
4. Serbia and the "Allies," or En- 
tente Powers — Russia, France, and 
Great Britain — were subsequently 
joined by Montenegro (August 7, 
1914), Japan (August 23, 1914), 
Italy (May 23, 1915), San Marino 
(May 24, 1915), Portugal (March 9, 
1916), Rumania (August 27, 1916), 
United States (April 6, 1917), Pana- 
ma and Cuba (April 7, 1917), Greece 
(July 2, 1917), Siam (July 21, 1917), 
Liberia (August 4, 1917), China (Au- 
gust 14, 1917), Brazil (October 26, 
1917), Guatemala (April 22, 1918), 
Costa Rica (May 23, 1918), Nicara- 
gua (May 24, 1918), Haiti (July 15, 
1918), and Honduras (July 19, 1918). 
The "Teutonic" or Central Powers — 
Austria-Hungary and Germany — on 
the other hand, while they failed to re- 
ceive the support of their former ally, 
Italy, succeeded in enlisting the aid 
of Turkey ("state of war" with Rus- 
sia, October 30 ; attacked by Great 
Britain and France, November 5, 
1914) and Bulgaria (October 14, 
1915). 

From the outset the Allied navies 
controlled the seas, putting an end to 
German overseas commerce and com- 
pelling the German battleships for the 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



most part to remain in home waters 
under the protection of coast defenses 
and mines, although the main German 
battle fleet ventured out to fight an 
indecisive battle, off Jutland, May 31, 
1916, and swift German battle cruisers 
repeatedly raided the British coast. 
The naval engagements in the Bight 
of Heligoland (August 24, 1914), off 
Coronel (November 1, 1914), near 
Dogger Bank (January 24, 1915), and 
in the Gulf of Riga (October, 1917) 
were of secondary importance. A few 
daring German commerce raiders and 
the surprisingly effective German sub- 
marines were able to inflict consider- 
able damage upon the Allied and neu- 
tral merchant marines, but not to 
break the virtual blockade by means 
of which Great Britain hoped to starve 
out her principal enemy. By the terms 
of the armistice which ended the war 
the greater part of the battle fleets 
and submarines of the Central Powers 
had to be turned over to the Allies 
(November, 1918). 

The military operations may be 
briefly summarized as follows: (1) In 
the Franco-Belgian theatre, the gallant 
defense of Liege (August 4-5, 1914), 
the stand at the Mons-Namur-Char- 
leroi (August 21-24, 1914), and a 
counter invasion of Alsace-Lorraine 
(August, 1914) failed to stop the on- 
ward sweep of the German armies 
through Belgium, Luxemburg, and 
Lorraine toward Paris. The high tide 
of the German invasion was reached 
in the Battle of the Marne (Septem- 
ber 6-10, 1914), after which the Ger- 
man right wing fell back upon the 
Aisne River and extended itself north- 
ward through Picardy, Artois, and 
Flanders to the Belgian coast. From 
October, 1914, to July, 1918, the long 
intrenched battleline from the coast 
to Switzerland remained almost sta- 



tionary, although terrific attempts to 
break through were made by the Ger- 
mans in Flanders (October-November, 
1914), again at Ypres (April-May, 
1915), in the Argonne (July, 1915), at 
Verdun (February- July, 1916), be- 
tween St. Quentin and La Fere toward 
Amiens (March, 1918), in the Ypres 
sector (April, 1918), at the Chemin 
des Dames (May-June, 1918), be- 
tween Rheims and Soissons (June- July, 
1918), and at the Marne (July, 
1918) ; as well by the Allies at Neuve 
Chapelle (March 10, 1915), in the 
region just north of Arras (May- June, 
1915), in Champagne (September-Oc- 
tober, 1915), in Artois, near Lens 
(September-October, 1915), in the 
Valley of the Somme (July, 1916- 
March, 1917), near Arras (April- 
June, 1917), on the Aisne (April-No- 
vember, 1917), in Flanders (July-De- 
cember, 1917). After the failure of 
the five great German attempts be- 
tween March and July, 1918, the Al- 
lies found themselves in a position to 
take the offensive. They did not de- 
pend upon the customary single huge 
blow but struck a series of smaller 
blows which set the whole line rocking 
from the sea to the Swiss border. The 
second Marne was won in July, the 
third Somme in August and by Sep- 
tember the whole German line from 
Rheims to Ypres was in a backward 
movement. In September the St. 
Mihiel salient was wiped out and an 
advance on both sides of the Argonne 
forest begun. Toward the end of the 
same month Foch struck in Flanders 
and so on. By the end of the month 
the Germans were back to the starting 
place of March 21. In October the 
Allies smashed the Hindenburg line, 
cleared the Belgian coast, and ad- 
vanced along the Meuse, threatening 
all communications, and compelling the 



THE WAR IN BRIEF 



3 



Germans to ask for an armistice which 
was granted on November 11, 1918. 
(2) In the East the initial Russian of- 
fensive in East Prussia was shattered 
by Hindenburg at Tannenberg (Au- 
gust 26-31, 1914) ; an Austro-German 
counter-invasion of Russian Poland 
was checked before Warsaw (Febru- 
ary, 1915) ; the Russian armies invad- 
ing Galicia attained the passes of the 
Carpathians early in 1915, but were 
completely expelled from Austrian ter- 
ritory by "Mackensen's Drive" (May- 
June) ; and an Austro-German inva- 
sion of Russia under the masterly di- 
rection of Hindenburg, after conquer- 
ing Warsaw (August 4, 1915), Brest- 
Litovsk (August 25), and Vilna (Sep- 
tember 18, 1915) was halted only by 
the swamps before Riga, the lakes 
around Dwinsk, and the Pripet 
marshes. The Russians returning to 
the attack in 1916 (June-August) re- 
captured the Volhynian fortresses of 
Lutsk and Dubno, conquered the 
Bukowina, and penetrated up the 
Dniester River as far as Halicz. 
The Russian revolution brought opera- 
tions on the East Front to a stand- 
still, the only outstanding feature be- 
ing the unsuccessful Russian offensive 
(July) and the fall of Riga (Septem- 
ber-October, 1917). Ater the Bolshe- 
viki came into power they evinced a 
strong desire to make peace and ulti- 
mately signed the treaty of Brest- 
Litovsk (March, 1918). The Allies 
determined to save Russia from herself 
and from Germany and sent an army 
into Siberia (to aid the Czecho-Slo- 
vaks) and landed two small forces at 
Archangel and Murman (July, 1918). 
They hoped by these means to re-es- 
tablish an Eastern Front. After vary- 
ing success the fighting in Russia was 
still continuing after all the Central 
Powers had signed an armistice. (3) 



After two important Austro-Hungar- 
ian attempts to "punish Serbia" had 
failed (in August and December, 
1914), a new Austro-German inva- 
sion of Serbia was undertaken in Oc- 
tober, 1915, with the aid of Bulgaria, 
and by December 5, 1915, Serbia was 
completely conquered. Anglo-French 
forces endeavoring to succor Serbia 
were defeated in the battle of the Var- 
dar (December, 1915), and driven 
back on their base at Saloniki, in 
Greek territory. Montenegro and 
northern Albania were overrun by 
Austrian and Bulgar armies (Janu- 
ary-February, 1916). In the summer 
of 1916, the Allied army at Saloniki 
assumed the offensive and wrested the 
iSerbian town of Monastir from the 
Bulgarians (November 19), but were 
unable to advance very much beyond 
that point in 1917, owing to the com- 
plete downfall of Russia and Rumania. 
During July, 1918, after initial suc- 
cesses an Allied offensive in Albania 
failed. During the succeeding months 
after careful preparation, the Allies 
broke the Bulgarian defenses and aft- 
er a series of remarkable victories com- 
pelled them to accept an armistice 
(September, 1918), which amounted 
to an unconditional surrender. 
(It.) Rumania, entering the war on 
August 27, 1916, too rashly sent her 
armies to "emancipate" Transylvania, 
leaving the Dobrudja undefended 
against Mackensen; the Rumanian in- 
vaders of Transylvania were thrown 
back by Falkenhayn; and all of Ru- 
mania, excepting a small part of Mol- 
davia, was conquered by the Central 
Powers. Disclosures made by the Rus- 
sian revolutionists show that Rumania 
was betrayed by the Germanophile 
Russian premier, Sturmer, who failed 
to send the promised army to protect 
Rumania's flank. She was compelled 



4 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



to sign a humiliating peace with the 
Central Powers in March, 1918. (5) 
Turkish armies held the Dardanelles 
against Anglo-French attacks (Febru- 
ary, 1915, to January 8, 1916) ; de- 
livered futile attacks upon the Suez 
Canal; captured a British army under 
Gen. Townshend in Mesopotamia 
(April 28, 1916); and expelled the 
Russians from Kermanshah (July 5, 
1916) and Hamadan (August 10, 
1916), but were unable to defend the 
important Armenian cities of Erzerum 
(February 16, 1916), Trebizond 
(April 18), and Erzingan (July 25) 
against Grand Duke Nicholas's ad- 
vance. Assuming the offensive in 1917 
the Allies took Kut-el-Amara (Febru- 
ary 24), Bagdad (March 10) and 
Jerusalem (December 10). During 
1918 the Allies continued their offen- 
sive against the Turko-German forces 
in Asia Minor and succeeded in prac- 
tically wiping them out. The capitu- 
lation of Bulgaria placed Turkey in a 
precarious position and compelled her 
to sue for an armistice (October, 
1918). The conditions granted her 
also amounted to an unconditional sur- 
render. (6) The Italians, having pain- 
fully penetrated into the Trentino a 
few miles, were rudely repulsed in May, 



1916; towards Trieste the Italians 
made slow progress and finally cap- 
tured Gorizia, August 9, 1916. Strik- 
ing out on the Carso and Bainsizza 
plateaus in the summer of 1917, the 
Italians were making substantial prog- 
ress towards Laibach and Trieste, 
when they were again rudely repulsed 
by a German-Austro force and hurled 
back to the Piave River (October- 
December, 1917). Contrary to expec- 
tations the Central Powers did not at- 
tempt to force the Piave when the 
fighting season of 1918 opened. The* 
attempt was not made until June and 
then it was severely checked. Assum- 
ing the offensive in August and Sep- 
tember, 1918, the Allies completely 
broke through the enemy lines and 
threw them back in a disorderly rout. 
Austria-Hungary sued for an armis- 
tice and received terms amounting to 
unconditional surrender (November, 
1918). (7) All of the German colon- 
ies were taken: Kiaochow (in China) by 
the Japanese (November 6, 1914) ; the 
German island possessions in the Pacific 
by British and Japanese expeditions; 
Togoland (August, 1914), Kamerun 
(February, 1916), German Southwest 
Africa (July, 1916), and German East 
Africa (November, 1918). 



II. UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



In July, 1914, the murder of Fran- 
cis Ferdinand, a member of the Aus- 
trian royal family, set in motion a 
train of events which culminated in 
the terrible catastrophe of a great 
European war. It was clear, however, 
that this crime was not the real cause 
of the tremendous struggle which many 
of the statesmen and diplomats of 
Europe had anticipated and all had 
feared for many years. The under- 
lying causes of this great War of the 
Nations reach far back into the past 
and cannot be reduced to any simple 
formula. Some knowledge of the im- 
portant political and economic forces 
which have shaped the history of 
Europe during the past century is nec- 
essary for an adequate appreciation of 
the causes of the great cataclysm. 
Among the many and complex influ- 
ences which have been suggested as 
causes of the war, there are three 
forces which appear to have contrib- 
uted most directly in bringing about 
the critical situation in Europe in 
1914. These were (1) the clashing of 
national interests and ideals, (2) the 
maintenance of a system of military 
alliances, and (3) the economic rivalry 
among the nations of Europe. 

National Antagonisms. Viewed broad- 
ly, the political history of Europe in 
the nineteenth century centres about 
two movements which were the in- 
heritance of the French Revolution 
and the Napoleonic wars, (1) the 
growth of democracy and (2) the 
realization of national liberty. When 
the diplomats of the Great Powers 
met at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 

5 



to readjust the map of Europe, many- 
expressed the hope that the Congress 
would be guided in its work by these 
two principles. There was much talk 
of "the reconstruction of the moral 
order," "the regeneration of the po- 
litical system of Europe," of the es- 
tablishment "of an enduring peace 
founded on a just distribution of po- 
litical forces," and of the formation 
of an effective and permanent in- 
ternational tribunal. Unfortunately 
these fair promises were not realized 
and the Congress, instead of establish- 
ing a new era, did its utmost to re- 
store the old one. The principles of 
popular freedom and national liberty 
were ignored wherever it was neces- 
sary to do so to satisfy the dynastic 
and personal influences which domi- 
nated the Congress. 

In the first place, as an inheritance 
of the French Revolution these prin- 
ciples were anathema to the reaction- 
aries and, in the second place, Met- 
ternich,* the reactionary Austrian 
Chancellor who dominated the Con- 
gress, realized that encouragement of 

* Metternich, Clemexs Wenzel Nepomuk 
Lothar, Prince (1773-1859). A noted Austrian 
diplomat, born at Coblenz. Educated at Uni- 
versity of Strassburg and studied law at Mainz. 
Diplomatic career commenced at Congress of 
Rastadt (1797-1799). Became Austrian Am- 
bassador at Dresden (1801). Two years later 
became ambassador to Prussia where he nego- 
tiated treaty of alliance between Austria, 
Prussia and Russia against France in 1805. 
Went to Paris in 1806 as ambassador. Minister 
of Foreign Affairs, 1809. Opposed dismember- 
ment of France for fear Russia and Prussia 
would become too powerful. Presiding officer 
of Congress of Vienna. Inspiring genius of 
reactionary policy of Restoration period. Aus- 
trian Chancellor, 1821. Aimed to restore old 
order as far as possible. 



6 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



the nationalist principle would endan- 
ger the heterogeneous Austrian domin- 
ions. Consequently the work of the 
Congress of Vienna was an effort to 
establish the status quo ante bellum. 
The consummation of this aim caused 
numerous violations of the principle 
of nationality. The history of the 
nineteenth century shows a number of 
revolutionary periods such as 1830, 
1848, 1866, and 1870 which were caus- 
ed by the determined efforts of the 
liberals and radicals of Europe to 
put into effect the three cardinal prin- 
ciples of the French Revolution, lib- 
erty, equality, and fraternity. The 
last term is praetically synonymous 
with the term nationality. Some of 
the cruder violations of the principle 
were done away with in the course of 
the century. For example, Belgium 
was separated from Holland and Ve- 
netia and other Italian-speaking sec- 
tions were taken away from Austria 
and joined to the newly created Ital- 
ian kingdom. There remained, how- 
ever, at the close of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, a number of situations which 
clearly violated the principle of na- 
tional sovereignty. The completion 
of German unity in 1871 was accom- 
panied by the violation of the prin- 
ciple of French nationality in the an- 
nexation of the territories of Alsace 
and Lorraine after the Franco-Prus- 
sian War. The reasons for the an- 
nexations of these territories were 
partially economic and partially po- 
litical. The Germans wished to wipe 
out the memories of French aggression 
after the Battle of Jena during the 
Napoleonic period. They also wished 
to obtain the extremely valuable coal 
and iron mines which were in these 
territories. It was an ever present 
challenge to the French people to at- 
tempt to regain these lost provinces 



and a constant reminder of the hu- 
miliation which they had suffered at 
the hands of Germany. On the other 
hand it was used by Bismarck * and 
the Prussian military party to justify 
their programme of huge military 
armaments in Germany. 

Nowhere else in Europe was the 
problem of nationality so acute dur- 
ing the nineteenth century as in Aus- 
tria-Hungary. The very existence of 
the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy has 
been a constant challenge to the prin- 
ciple of nationality. Logically car- 
ried out this principle would mean 
the disappearance of Austria-Hungary 
and the distribution of its territory 
among the surrounding nations. The 
appreciation of this fact by the Aus- 
trian authorities made them apprehen- 
sive of all nationalist movements, and 
especially that of the southern Slavs. 
As will be seen it was the outgrowth 
of one of these movements which pre- 
cipitated the crisis which led to the 
outbreak of the war. 

The Balkan states presented a pe- 
culiarly vexing problem in the realiza- 
tion of the principle of nationality. 
The intricate mixture of racial groups 
in this region made it an almost hope- 

* BlSMAHCK-SCHONHATJSEN, KARL OtTO 

Eduard Leopold vox, Prince (1815-98). A 
famous Prussian diplomat and statesman, born 
in the district of Magdeburg, Prussia. From 
1832-33 he was a student of jurisprudence and 
political science. Entered First General Diet 
of Prussia (1847). Champion of ultra-con- 
servative measures. Advocated increased pow- 
ers of monarchy in Erfurt Parliament (1850). 
As Prussian Ambassador to Germanic Diet at 
Frankfort adopted policy of hostility to Aus- 
tria. Head of Prussian cabinet and Minister 
of Foreign Affairs (1862). Governed without 
a budget and parliamentary majority. To 
unify Germany under Prussia adopted ruth- 
less policy, "mighty problems of age to be 
solved by blood and iron." Forced out Austria 
and in 1871 Germanic states formed an empire 
with Prussian King as Emperor. Introduced 
state socialism as a means of fighting social- 
ism. He was a bitter opponent of the Roman 
Catholic church, being the author of the famous 
"May Laws," of 1873-74-75. 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



less task to arrange geographical 
boundaries to correspond with na- 
tional lines. The problem was com- 
plicated, moreover, by the clashing of 
the interests of the great European 
Powers, especially Austria and Rus- 
sia, in this territory. The condition 
of chronic disorder and strife in this 
region during the nineteenth century 
was a source of almost constant con- 
cern to the diplomats of the great 
European states. 

While the triumph of the ideal of 
nationality has done much to advance 
European civilization, it has not been 
an unmixed blessing. Too often na- 
tional patriotism became a fetish. Love 
of one's country meant a lack of ap- 
preciation of or a contempt for the 
people of other countries ; a feeling 
that the "kultur" of one's country was 
not only different from but distinctly 
superior to that of any other country. 
From this it naturally followed that it 
was a laudable ambition to wish to im- 
pose one's superior civilization upon 
an inferior people. 

"If it were possible," says Prince 
Bernhard von Biilow * in his book on 
Imperial Germany, "for members of 
different nationalities, with different 
language and customs, and an intel- 
lectual life of a different kind, to hve 
side by side in one and the same 
state, without succumbing to the temp- 
tation of each trying to force his own 

* Bulow, Bernhard, Prince von. A former 
German Chancellor, born (1849) at Klein- 
Flottbeck, Holstein. Studied at Lausanne, 
L,eipsic, and Berlin. Served in Franco-Prus- 
sian War and entered German Foreign Office 
in 1874. Served as secretary of legations at 
various capitals and also ambassador. Ap- 
pointed Foreign Secretary in 1897 and Chancel- 
lor of the German Empire and Prime Minister 
of Prussia in 1900. His diplomacy shaped by 
emperor. Against ambition of France in Mo- 
rocco and led to Algeciras conference (1906). 
Able to control majority in Reichstag until 
1909 when failure of budget led to resigna- 
tion. 



nationality on the other, things on 
earth would look a good deal more 
peaceful. But it is a law of life and 
development in history that where two 
national civilizations meet they fight 
for ascendancy. In the struggle be- 
tween nationalities, one nation is the 
hammer and the other the anvil; one 
is the victor and the other the van- 
quished." Prince von Billow's words 
really go to the root of the whole 
trouble in European politics. They 
show clearly that exaggerated idea of 
the inevitable antagonism of national 
interests which dominated European 
politics during the nineteenth cen- 
tury. 

In its extreme form this national 
spirit has found expression in move- 
ments . to unite various related ethnic 
and racial groups into one political 
group. Such movements have been 
more or less prominent in Germany, 
Russia, and the Balkan states under 
the names Pan-Germanism, Panslav- 
ism, Pan-Serbianism, etc. It is doubt- 
ful whether any of these movements 
had passed beyond the state of vague 
aspirations held by a comparatively 
small group of people. As a con- 
tributing cause of the war the Pan- 
slavic and Pan-Serbian movements 
were of some importance. The growth 
of such propaganda was a source of 
concern to Austria-Hungary, with its 
large Slavic population. 

Pan-Germanism. — The Pan-German 
movement was an outgrowth of Ger- 
man imperialism and of the exag- 
gerated race consciousness of the Ger- 
mans. Roughly stated, this movement 
conceives the German people wherever 
located as forming one great nation- 
ality. Some Pan-Germanists deny any 
political or territorial ambitions and 
assert that they wish merely to spread 
the knowledge of German culture 



8 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



throughout the world. Others, more 1 
radical, proclaimed the ultimate domi- 
nation of the world by the German 
race. The German authorities re- 
peatedly stated that the Pan-German 
movement had no official sanction and 
that it was the work of only a very 
small part of the German people. How- 
ever, what the movement has lacked 
in numbers it has made up in activity. 
Prominent historians, scientists, and 
other writers expounded its views, while 
numerous societies had been formed to 
advance German ideas of culture and 
civilization throughout the civilized 
world. 

One or two quotations will serve to 
show the attitude of some of the lead- 
ers of the Pan-German movement. 
Von Bernhardi said on one occasion: 
"Our next war will be fought for the 
highest interests of our country and of 
mankind. This will invest it with im- 
portance in the world's history. 
'World power or downfall !' will be our 
rallying cry. 

"Keeping this idea before us, we 
must prepare for war with the confi- 
dent intention of conquering and with 
the iron resolve to persevere to the 
end, come what may." 

The French Yellow Book quotes 
from an official secret report the fol- 
lowing: "Neither ridiculous shriek- 
ings for revenge by French chauvin- 
ists, nor the Englishmen's gnashing of 
teeth, nor the wild gestures of the 
Slavs will turn us from our aim of 
protecting and extending Deutschtum 
(German influence) all the world 
over." 

The Kaiser said in the course of a 
speech in July, 1900: "Germany's 
greatness makes it impossible for her 
to do without the ocean, but the ocean 
also proves that even in the distance, 
and on its farther side, without Ger- 



many and the German Emperor no 
great decision dare henceforth be 
taken. 

"I do not believe that thirty years 
ago our German people, under the 
leadership of their princes, bled and 
conquered in order that they might be 
shoved aside when great decisions are 
to be made in foreign politics. If that 
could happen, the idea that the Ger- 
man people are to be considered a 
world power would be dead and done 
for, and it is not my will that this 
would happen. To this end it is only 
my duty and my finest privilege to use 
the proper and, if need be, the most 
drastic means without fear of conse- 
quences. I am convinced that in this 
course I have the German princes and 
the German people firmly behind me." 

In another speech in October, 1900, 
the Kaiser said: "Our German Fath- 
erland, (to) which I hope will be 
granted, through the harmonious co- 
operation of princes and peoples, of its 
armies and its citizens, to become in 
the future as closely united, as power- 
ful, and as authoritative as once the 
Roman world-empire was, and that, 
just as in the old times they said 
'Civis romanus sum,' hereafter, at 
some time in the future, they will say 
'I am a German citizen.' " 

Military Alliances. The obsession 
of national jealousy led inevitably to 
the view that it was necessary to de- 
fend nationalism with huge armaments. 
The remarkable success of Bismarck in 
uniting Germany by a policy of blood 
and iron was used as an object lesson 
by the militarists of Germany and oth- 
er nations. War was glorified as an 
institution in itself, not simply as a 
means to an end. Says Bernhardi,* 

* Friedrich von Bernhardi, born (1849) at 
St. Petersburg, son of a German diplomat; 
served in Franco-Prussian War; general of 
cavalry and commander of the Seventh Army 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



9 



one of the leading exponents of this 
school, "War is in itself a good thing. 
It is a biological necessity of the first 
importance." And again, "The in- 
evitableness, the idealism, the blessing 
of war as an indispensable and stimu- 
lating law of development must be re- 
peatedly emphasized." John Adam 
Cramb,* an English historian, pre- 
dicted a war between Germany and 
England and warned England to pre- 
pare for it. Everywhere the doctrine 
of military preparedness was advocat- 
ed and it bore fruit in the tremendous 
standing armies and huge navies of the 
different European countries. It led 
also to the grouping of the great 
European Powers into two hostile mili- 
tary alliances. 

When the representatives of the 
European Powers met at the Congress 
of Vienna in 1815, there was organized 
the so-called Concert of Europe, by 
which it was hoped that the problems 
of European politics would be adjust- 
ed. For some years congresses rep- 
resenting the Great Powers were held 
at which international questidns were 
considered and efforts made to main- 
tain the balance of power in Europe. 
After the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, however, the influence of this 

Corps (1908); retired (1909), but in 1915, dur- 
ing the European War, assigned to field com- 
mand at his own request. His writings, for 
which he is known internationally, are con- 
cerned with German military progress and with 
an expected war for the advancement of Pan- 
Germanism and expansion. In English have 
appeared: Cavalry in War and Peace (1910); 
On War of To-Bay, Britain as Germany's Vas- 
sal, and Germanv and the Next War (all 
191-1) ; The New Bcrnhardi: "World Power or 
Borcnfall" (1915), a collection of articles writ- 
ten during the European War. 

*John Adam Cramb (1862-1913), educated 
at Glasgow and Bonn; from 1893 to his death 
professor of modern history at Queen's College, 
London: also lectured at other institutions and 
gave private courses; author of Germany and 
England (1914) and The Origins and Bestiny 
of Imperial Britain and Nineteenth Century 
Europe (1915). 



Concert was materially weakened. 

A political transformation of 
Europe occurred in the decade between 
1860 and 1870, culminating in the 
creation of two new European states, 
Germany and Italy. The appearance 
of these two states in the family of 
European nations seriously disturbed 
the old political relations. Bismarck, 
who had been largely instrumental in 
the creation of the German Empire, 
adopted as his guiding principle a sys- 
tem of firm alliances rather than de- 
pendence upon the more loosely consti- 
tuted European Concert. In an effort 
to isolate France, he first strove to 
unite Russia, German}^, and Austria in 
a defensive alliance. When Russia with- 
drew from this alliance on account of 
antagonism to Austria, Bismarck de- 
voted his efforts to binding together 
more closely the two Teutonic Pow- 
ers. Italy later (1882) joined with 
the Central Powers to form the Triple 
Alliance. 

Italy's alliance with the Teutonic 
Powers was largely a result of her re- 
sentment against France because of 
the latter's acquisition of Tunis in 
1881. Checkmated by France, Italy 
turned to the Germanic Powers and 
joined an unnatural alliance. It was 
unnatural because Austria had con- 
sistently opposed Italian unity as well 
as on account of clashes of economic 
interests in the Balkan peninsula. 

This organization of the states of 
central Europe into a strong military 
alliance was an invitation to the other 
states of Europe to create an oppos- 
ing alliance in order to maintain the 
balance of power. First France and 
Russia, drawn together by mutual hos- 
tility to Germany, formed a Dual Al- 
liance (1895) and finally Great Brit- 
ain, aroused by the threatening naval 
policy of Germany, abandoned her pol- 



10 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



icy of "splendid isolation," and joined 
with France and Russia to form a sec- 
ond diplomatic group known as the 
Triple Entente. England was com- 
pelled to smooth over difficulties which 
existed between herself and her two 
allies. She clashed with France in 
Northern Africa, in Siam, and over 
the Newfoundland fisheries. She was 
opposed to the extension of Russian 
influence in the Balkans as well as to 
the advance towards India in Asia. 
Due largely to the efforts of Sir Ed- 
ward Grey, these misunderstandings 
were cleared up and a "diplomatic 
group" was established. The precise 
nature of this understanding was in- 
definite, there being no treaty agree- 
ment specifying its scope. The for- 
mation of these two rival military 
groups created a situation in Europe 
where every disturbance of the po- 
litical or diplomatic status quo 
brought on a crisis. Since 1905 
Europe has passed through several 
such crises, each one increasing the 
tension among the Great Powers and 
each making the maintenance of peace 
more difficult. 

The first of these crises came in 
1905 in a dispute over Morocco. A 
part of the understanding reached be- 
tween England and France in 1904 
provided that France should have a 
free hand in Morocco, while England 
was given a free hand in Egypt. Ger- 
many, which had abandoned Bis- 
marck's policy of opposition to co- 
lonial expansion, was looking about for 
such stray portions of undeveloped 
land as had not been appropriated by 
England and France. Germany had 
to choose between two courses. Eith- 
er she could frankly recognize the in- 
evitable consequences of her geograph- 
ical position and her late entrance in- 
to the field as a colonial power, which 



handicapped her development as a 
world state, or she might determine to 
challenge the more fortunately sit- 
uated and longer established world 
powers and create for herself a larger 
"place in the sun." She chose the lat- 
ter alternative. With a rapidly in- 
creasing population, it became a ques- 
tion whether even her remarkable in- 
dustrial development would accommo- 
date the added millions of population. 
It is true that at this time Germany 
imported unskilled agricultural labor 
from Russia, and that there was no 
alarming emigration from Germany. 
But the future held out the prospect 
of a large emigration of Germans to 
other countries, and the Germans re- 
sented the loss of this good German 
stock to the Fatherland. Colonies 
where Germans might be kept under 
German control were felt to be the 
great need. Germany therefore deter- 
mined not to stand quietly by and al- 
low further colonial acquisitions by 
the other great European Powers with- 
out making an effort to share in the 
spoils. 

The Russo-Japanese War (1904- 
1905) had revealed the military weak- 
ness and inefficiency of Russia. This 
situation made Russia's support of 
France much less valuable and Ger- 
many felt that it was an opportune 
time to assert her position in regard 
to Morocco. On March 21, 1905, the 
German Emperor, while on a voyage 
to Constantinople, disembarked at 
Tangier and encouraged the Sultan to 
reject the scheme of reforms pro- 
posed by France. He, moreover, suc- 
ceeded in forcing France to submit 
the whole Moroccan question to a con- 
ference of the Powers held at Algeciras 
in January, 1906. England firmly 
supported France and let it be known 
that any interference with France's 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



11 



predominant position in Morocco 
would be resisted by her. Italy, more- 
over, refused to support her ally, with 
the result that France scored a dis- 
tinct diplomatic victory. 

One phase of Germany's policy of 
colonial and commercial expansion 
contemplated the extension of Teu- 
tonic commercial and political inter- 
ests in the Balkans and Turkey. In 
this "Drang nach Osten" Germany, in 
conjunction with Austria, hoped to 
create a great economic, if not politi- 
cal, sphere of influence extending 
through the Balkans to Constantino- 
ple and thence through Turkey in Asia 
to the Persian Gulf. German engineers 
and German capitalists began to de- 
velop Turkish resources. German mili- 
tary officials trained the Turkish 
forces. 

As an example of the importance 
that the Pan-Germanist element placed 
upon the movement toward the south- 
east, the following quotation is given 
from a book entitled, Asia, by Fried- 
rich Naumann (1900): "All weaken- 
ing of German national energy by 
pacifist associations or analogous ac- 
tivities reinforces the formidably in- 
creasing power of those who rule to- 
day from the Cape to Cairo, from 
Ceylon to the Polar Sea. . . . No 
truce with England. Let our policy be 
a national policy. 

"This must be the mainspring of our 
action in the eastern question. This 
is the fundamental reason which ne- 
cessitates our political indifference to 
the sufferings of Christians in the 
Turkish Empire, painful as these must 
be to our private feelings. If Turkey 
were disintegrated to-day, the frag- 
ments of her empire would become the 
sport of the great powers, and we would 
be left with nothing, as has happened 
so often in the past. We must retard 



the catastrophe. Let Turkey have 
any constitution she likes, so long as 
she can keep herself afloat a while 
longer. 

"Bismarck taught us to make a dis- 
tinction between our foreign policy 
and our domestic policy. The same 
thing applies to the Christian mis- 
sions. As Christians we desire the 
propagation of the faith by which we 
were saved. But it is not the task of 
our policy to concern itself with Chris- 
tian missions. 

"The truth here, as elsewhere, is 
that we must find out which is the 
greatest and morally the most impor- 
tant task. When the choice has been 
made, there must be no tergiversation. 
William II has made his choice; he is 
the friend of the Padishah, because he 
believes in a greater Germany. . . . 

"Imagine a few firm, rigid, incor- 
ruptible officials at the head of a ter- 
ritory like Palestine scouring the coun- 
try on horseback with European 
promptitude. They would be as much 
abused as Satan, but as useful as 
angels. . . . 

"A sort of amicable dictatorship 
would be set up, which would often 
address Turkey as the bird of the 
proverb was addressed, 'Eat or die.' 
. . . Meanwhile Germans would be set- 
tling upon all the shores of the Medi- 
terranean. Good luck to you, my 
brethren. Work hard. Bestir your- 
selves. The old sea will yet behold 
many things. You hold in your hands 
a morsel of Germany's future life." 

In July, 1908, a revolution, led by 
the Young Turks, broke out in Con- 
stantinople. Taking advantage of this 
situation Bulgaria annexed eastern 
Rumelia and declared her complete in- 
dependence of Turkey. Austria felt 
the time opportune to annex Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, which had been 



12 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



placed under her administration in 
1878 by the Congress of Berlin, main- 
ly through the efforts of Bismarck. 
This action of Austria irritated Italy 
and aroused Serbia, which latter had 
hoped to bring these provinces, closely 
related to her in blood, into a Greater 
Serbia. Russia protested against Aus- 
tria's violation of the Treaty of Ber- 
lin, but Germany stood by her ally, 
and Russia, unprepared for war, was 
forced to submit. The Teutonic al- 
lies had scored a distinct diplomatic 
success and another European crisis 
was passed. 

Once again in 1911, the Moroccan 
question brought Europe to the verge 
of war. Germany had not accepted 
with good grace her diplomatic defeat 
at Algeciras, and watched with an in- 
creasing irritation the extension of 
French influence and control in Mo- 
rocco. Germany complained that 
France was not observing the policy 
of equal commercial opportunity for 
all nations and on July 1, 1911, the 
German cruiser Panther appeared off 
Agadir with the avowed purpose of 
protecting German interests. Both 
England and France likewise sent 
ships there, and for several months 
European peace hung in the balance. 
A compromise was finally reached 
whereby Germany recognized France's 
predominant position in Morocco while 
in return Germany received 100,000 
square miles of the French Congo. 

Hardly had this second Moroccan 
crisis been passed when the delicate 
balance in European politics was dis- 
turbed by the Turco-Italian War. Dis- 
appointed in her desire to obtain 
Tunis, Italy turned her attentions to 
the neighboring Turkish province of 
Tripoli and gradually extended her 
economic interests there. Friction de- 
veloped with the corrupt and inefficient 



Turkish authorities and in September, 
1911, the Italian government demand- 
ed that Turkey place the provinces of 
Tripoli and Cyrenaica under Italian 
control. Upon Turkey's refusal Italy 
declared war and after a long cam- 
paign succeeded in occupying the ter- 
ritory. Germany was placed in the 
difficult position of seeing her protege 
Turkey despoiled by her ally Italy. 
She was, however, powerless to prevent 
Italy from carrying through her de- 
signs for fear that the latter might 
desert the Triple Alliance and join the 
Entente. 

The Turco-Italian War was a pre- 
lude to a much more serious and far- 
reaching upheaval in the Turkish do- 
minions. The policy of the Young 
Turks after the revolution of 1908, in 
attempting to build up a strong, uni- 
fied Ottoman nation, stirred the smol- 
dering embers of the rival nationalities 
in the Balkans. The Greeks, Bulgar- 
ians, Serbs, and Montenegrins resented 
the attempt to Ottomanize their fellow 
nationals in Macedonia and Albania. 
Putting aside for the moment their 
own rivalries these four Powers or- 
ganized the Balkan League, and sub- 
mitted to Turkey a demand for far- 
reaching reforms in Macedonia. The 
European Powers quickly saw the dan- 
ger of a European war if the Balkan 
situation was disturbed and they 
served notice on the Allies that under 
no conditions would they allow a modi- 
fication of the territorial status quo 
in the Balkans. Undeterred by this 
threat of European intervention the 
Allies declared war on Turkey in Oc- 
tober, 1912, and after a series of bril- 
liant campaigns, completely routed the 
Turks and drove them to the gates of 
Constantinople. As the Allies had an- 
ticipated, the European Powers did 
not make good their threat to restore 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



13 



the status quo. When it came to a di- 
vision of the spoils the old rivalries 
among the Allies once more appeared. 
Serbia had been thwarted in her de- 
sire to obtain Albania by the opposi- 
tion of Italy and Austria. This led 
to a demand by Serbia for a modifica- 
tion of the agreement for the divisions 
of the territory made by the Allies 
before the war. To this Bulgaria 
would not consent and Serbia, Greece, 
and Montenegro combined against 
their former ally. Rumania and Tur- 
key also joined Bulgaria's enemies 
with the result that Bulgaria's forces 
were quickly overwhelmed. The strug- 
gle closed in August, 1913, and Bul- 
garia was forced to give up a large 
part of the conquered Turkish terri- 
tory. 

As a result of interference by the 
great Powers of Europe an autonom- 
ous Albania was established under the 
kingship of William Frederick of 
Wied, a German mediatized prince. 
This effectively thwarted Serbia's de- 
sire for a seaport on the Adriatic. 

The outcome of the Balkan wars 
was a bitter disappointment to Ger- 
many and Austria. Not only had 
their protege Turkey been practically 
driven from Europe, but the creation 
of a greater Serbia and the strength- 
ening of Greece and Bulgaria checked 
the plans of Austria to reach the 
^Egean Sea at Saloniki. Russian in- 
fluence, too, had been greatly in- 
creased in the Balkans by the 
strengthening of the Slavic states. 

That Germany appreciated the seri- 
ous blow which had been dealt to Teu- 
tonic influence in the Balkans was in- 
dicated by the introduction in Febru- 
ary, 1913, of a new army bill. This 
was defended on the ground that the 
outcome of the Balkan wars had seri- 
ously disturbed the balance of power 



in central Europe to the detriment of 
Austria and Germany. 

To the peace footing of the German 
army were added 117,000 men and 
19,000 officers, bringing the total 
strength of the peace army, including 
auxiliary services, up to 870,000. Im- 
mediately the Superior Council of War 
in France replied to the German chal- 
lenge by proposing March 4, that the 
term of military service be increased 
from 2 to 3 years, in order to aug- 
ment the strength and improve the or- 
ganization of the French army. It 
should be noted that the German in- 
crease was proposed first, that it was 
approved by the Bundesrath on March 
28, and that it was finally passed by 
the Reichstag on June 30, 1913, three 
weeks before the French Three- Year 
Law was passed by the Chamber of 
Deputies, July 19. Russia, the ally 
of France, and Austria-Hungary, the 
ally of Germany, likewise made war- 
like preparations. In July the Duma 
authorized a new army budget and 
the lengthening of military service 
from 3 to 3y± years ; General Joffre, 
the French commander-in-chief, vis- 
ited Russia in August, 1913, to con- 
fer on the reorganization of the Rus- 
sian army. Austria-Hungary intro- 
duced a new scheme whereby her peace 
army was increased from 463,000 to 
560,000 ; and enormous sums were ap- 
propriated for the provision of artil- 
lery. Even the smaller states of the 
Balkan, Iberian, and Scandinavian 
peninsulas caught the contagion of the 
army fever. The most ominous fea- 
ture of all this military preparation 
was the fear and hatred it inspired. 
France introduced three-year service 
because she feared the German army, 
with its corps at Metz, Saarbriicken, 
and Strassburg. When little Belgium 
introduced universal military service 



14 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



and planned to create a field army of 
150,000 in addition to garrisons of 
130,000 men, the explanation was 
frankly made that the recent construc- 
tion of German railways leading to the 
Belgian frontier, without obvious eco- 
nomic purpose, signified that Germany 
was preparing to transport troops in- 
to and through Belgium in case of a 
Franco-German war. Similarly Ger- 
many was alarmed by the projected 
construction of new Russian railways, 
which would facilitate Russian mobili- 
zation against Germany. And in the 
spring of 1914 a veritable panic was 
created in the German and Austro- 
Hungarian press, by articles in the 
Cologne Gazette, Germania, the Post, 
and the Berliner Tageblatt, comment- 
ing on the Russian preparations, 
which would be perfected in a year or 
two. Bernhardi, in the Post, warned 
Germany to be ready for a war in the 
near future. On the other hand, 
the St. Petersburg (Petrograd) Bir- 
shewija Wjedomosti on June 13, 1914, 
declared that, "France and Russia do 
not desire war, but Russia is pre- 
pared, and hopes that France will 
likewise be prepared." Thus national 
militarism created the situation out of 
which grew the War of the Nations — 
the nations of Europe armed to the 
teeth, regarding each other with in- 
sane fear, awaiting the inevitable con- 
flict. 

Economic Causes. Some advocates 
of the economic interpretation of his- 
tory seek to place all historical facts 
on an economic basis. To this school 
of historical writers this war is ex- 
plained almost entirely on economic 
grounds. While it is quite possible to 
exaggerate this economic motive, there 
is no question that economic consid- 
erations played an important part in 
bringing about the situation which 



precipitated the European crisis. 
Some of these economic influences may 
be briefly stated. 

At the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury there occurred in Europe a com- 
plete transformation of industrial con- 
ditions known as the industrial revolu- 
tion. The invention of improved 
methods of spinning and weaving, the 
application of steam power, the sub- 
stitution of the factory system for the 
former method of cottage industry, 
and the appearance of distinct cap- 
italist and laboring classes were the 
most striking features of this revolu- 
tion in industrial life. 

England was the first country to 
feel the effects of this change. Fac- 
tories began to turn out large quan- 
tities of manufactured commodities, 
more than enough to supply the home 
market. For a time England had a 
practical monopoly of the field, and 
had no difficulty in disposing of her 
surplus products in the markets of the 
world. But the industrial revolution 
in time reached other countries ; 
France in the period after 1830, the 
United States in the period following 
the Civil War, and Germany in the 
period after 1880. The great indus- 
trial interests in these countries began 
to compete with those of England for 
the control of the markets of the 
world. England had the advantage of 
having vast colonial possessions which 
might serve both as a market for her 
manufactured products and as a field 
for the investment of surplus capital 
in the development of their natural 
resources. France and the United 
States, in a lesser degree, also enjoyed 
this advantage. Germany, on the 
other hand, because of her late ap- 
pearance as a great power, was prac- 
tically without colonial possessions of 
any potential value. She felt that her 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



15 



industrial development was being ham- 
pered through no fault of her own, but 
simply because the best parts of the 
world had been appropriated by other 
countries. 

It has been argued, with consider- 
able force, that a nation does not bene- 
fit commercially by the control of col- 
onies or weak states. The case of Ger- 
many is cited to show how marvel- 
ously a state may expand commercial- 
ly without colonies. But there is no 
doubt that certain economic interests 
within a nation do gain by national 
control of undeveloped parts of the 
world. There are government con- 
tracts to be let, franchises to be given, 
concessions to be granted, and pos- 
sibly preferential tariffs to be estab- 
lished. The financial interests in close 
touch with the governmental author- 
ities of a great power undoubtedly 
have a great advantage. 

In the German apologies for the 
war, Great Britain is bitterly accused 
of envying German prosperity and of 
welcoming the war as an opportunity 
to crush German commercial and in- 
dustrial competition. The strenuous 
efforts of British business men during 
the war to capture German trade are 
cited as proof. The British apologists 
reply that Great Britain entered the 
war only after extreme hesitation, aft- 
er warning Germany not to violate 
Belgian neutrality ; that Great Britain 
had not welcomed the war, far less 
caused it ; and that the war on Ger- 
man trade was a result rather than 
the purpose of the armed conflict. 

On the other side, Germany is ac- 
cused of waging war for economic ag- 
grandizement. In explanation, let us 
refer to the origin of the German Em- 
pire. Besides a sentimental yearning 
for national unity, two factors worked 
together to weld the many petty Ger- 



man States into a united nation. The 
spectacular part was played by the 
Prussian army, under the control of 
domineering, landowning aristocrats, 
like Prince Bismarck. Equally impor- 
tant, if less striking, was the work of 
the industrial capitalists. They had 
built railways binding the Germanies 
together with bands of steel; they had 
economically federated the Germanies 
in the Tariff League (ZoUverem), 
preparing the way for political union. 
After the formation of the German 
Empire (1871), the influence of the 
two elements, the landed aristocracy 
of army officers and the business aris- 
tocracy of wealth, was manifested in 
the demand for a protective tariff. 
The former demanded a high tariff on 
imported foodstuffs to raise the price 
of their own farm products ; the latter 
required a tariff wall to keep foreign 
manufacturers from entering into com- 
petition with German articles in the 
home market. Bismarck adopted the 
protective tariff policy in 1879. It is 
easy to see how such a policy might 
endanger peace. For example, consid- 
er Russo-German relations. In 1904 
Russia and Germany signed a commer- 
cial treaty whereby each country made 
certain reductions in its tariff duties 
on imports from the other country. 
The Russians felt that Germany had 
the best of the bargain. In 1914, as 
the date approached for the renewal or 
modification of the treaty, fear was 
expressed in the German press lest 
Russia's improved army would enable 
her to demand more favorable terms. 
In this fashion the desire of each na- 
tion to tax foreign imports and at the 
same time to obtain free admission of 
its own products into foreign coun- 
tries, stimulated militarism and pro- 
voked warlike sentiments among the 
Powers. The United Kingdom, it 



16 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



should be observed, adhered to its free 
trade policy, and, with few exceptions, 
admitted the products of all lands on 
an equal footing. The British self- 
governing colonies, however, had 
adopted protection. 

Whether it was due to the protec- 
tion of the tariff wall, or to the Ger- 
man genius for applying natural 
science to industry, or to German 
thoroughness, or to aggressive com- 
mercial methods, the business inter- 
ests prospered mightily under the 
aegis of the German Empire. Mills 
and mines multiplied wealth. Titanic 
ocean steamships carried German 
wares to the ends of the earth. By 
1912, British excelled German foreign 
commerce by about $1,300,000,000; 
but German commerce had trebled it- 
self since 1883, while British commerce 
had not quite doubled. The German 
government derived rich revenues from 
the customs duties on an expanding 
commerce, and viewed with satisfac- 
tion the prodigious increase in wealth 
and population (population increased 
from 41 to 66 millions between 1871 
and 1912) which furnished men and 
money for an ever-growing army. 
And on the other hand, the industrial 
and landowning classes considered the 
army as protection and insurance for 
their interests. In one respect, how- 
ever, the German business community 
was dissatisfied. The German mer- 
chant marine, although it had rapidly 
expanded, was still four times out- 
weighed by British shipping. Great 
Britain's superiority was ascribed to 
her earlier economic development, to 
the fact that Germany had very little 
Atlantic sea-coast, to the superiority 
of the British navy. Germany, there- 
fore, set herself to overcome these 
handicaps. And without imputing ag- 
gressive motives to the German gov- 



ernment, the historian may and should 
affirm that certain German business 
men consciously hoped for the over- 
throw of British naval power and for 
the annexation of an Atlantic port by 
Germany. The open confession of 
such desires by German journalists 
like Maximilian Harden and by Ger- 
man shipping magnates like Herr Bal- 
lin, explains why the Belgians feared 
the loss of Antwerp and Ostend, and 
the British the loss of the sea. In 
parenthesis, it may be observed that 
similar desires for advantageous sea- 
ports were urging Russia on to Con- 
stantinople and to the Southern Bal- 
tic, Serbia on to the Adriatic, and 
Austria-Hungary on to Saloniki. 

In a third respect the economic am- 
bitions of Germany conflicted with 
those of other nations. In the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century cer- 
tain groups of business men awoke to 
the opportunities which the vast un- 
civilized areas of Africa and Oceanica 
offered for the sale of cheap cotton 
goods, cheap liquors, and other manu- 
factures, for the highly remunerative 
investment of money in the construc- 
tion of railways, the development of 
mines, and the traffic in rubber, ivory, 
and oil. King Leopold of Belgium, 
one of the first to realize the oppor- 
tunity, acquired control of the Congo 
region in the heart of Africa. France 
carved out a mighty colonial empire, 
and Great Britain added to hers. Ger- 
many, a belated arrival in the field, 
was permitted, even encouraged by 
the British government, to acquire ter- 
ritories in Africa. But when Ger- 
many, becoming aggressive in world 
politics, and demanding an ever larg- 
er "place in the sun," challenged the 
French in Morocco and appeared en- 
vious of the British and French pos- 
sessions, the prospect of a war for 



UNDERLYING CAUSES OF THE WAR 



17 



world-empire began to fill Europe with 
uneasy forebodings. 

Concessions as well as colonies were 
contended for by Germans as against 
British and French capitalists. For 
example, when in 1914 Bulgaria ar- 
ranged in return for a loan to concede 
to German capitalists valuable railway 
and mining privileges in Bulgaria, a 
rival bid was unsuccessfully made by 
the French. The financing of the 
Bagdad railway occasioned consider- 
able rivalry between France and Ger- 
many, until an agreement was reached. 
In 1914 the envious cry was raised in 
Germany that German interests were 
being outstripped by the other Pow- 
ers ; that the English were greedily 
helping themselves to the oil product 
of Persia and striving to secure the 
oil fields of Latin America ; that the 
French capitalists were securing new 
railway contracts in China, in Russia, 
and in Greece. 

Of all the economic interests inimic- 
al to peace, the most dangerous was 
the arms-manufacturing business. It 
is commonly known that in 1913 Karl 
Liebknecht * horrified the German 
Reichstag by alleging that the 
Krupps, the world-famous makers of 
guns and armor, systematically 

* Liebknecht, Karl (Paul August Ferdin- 
and) (1871-1919). Born at Leipsic, where he 
studied law. Became practicing attorney in 
Berlin. Chosen Selectman of City of Berlin 
(1902); member Prussian House of Deputies 
(1908), and elected to Reichstag (1912) and 
soon recognized as a leader among Socialist 
deputies. In 1913 made charges leading to reve- 
lation of Krupp scandals and in 1914 only 
member to vote against war credits. His work 
Militarisms und Antimilit (trismus (1907) for- 
bidden circulation and led to charge of high 
treason, for which he was convicted. Despite 
protests, mustered into army (1915). Arrested 
(1916) for making a speech at May Day dem- 
onstration. On signing of armistice and flight 
of Emperor became leader of extreme Socialist 
group known as Spartacides. Killed (Janu- 
ary 15, 1919) by military officers while under 
arrest. 



stirred up hostility between France 
and Germany in order to obtain larger 
orders for arms. Every Army Bill, 
every dreadnought, every war, meant 
profits for the armament firms. The 
Balkan Wars were fought with weap- 
ons forged in Germany and France. 
As the Krupps had made the Turkish 
guns, the defeat of Turkey meant di- 
minished prestige and smaller sales 
for Krupp wares, unless another war 
should reestablish the fame of can- 
non "made in Germany." English 
firms — Armstrong & Vickers, and Wit- 
worth — were engaged to build an ord- 
nance factory in Russia, and to con- 
struct battleships for Spain, for Bra- 
zil, for Turkey. For Krupps, as well 
as for their rivals, the War of the 
Nations was a golden opportunity. 
The Belgian armament manufacturers 
at Liege alone were unfortunate, for 
Liege was captured by German troops. 
Finally, a word may be added re- 
garding the banking interests and the 
war. Articles have appeared in sup- 
port of the argument that the panic 
and consternation in financial circles 
at the outbreak of the war proved con- 
clusively that "capital" did not want 
the war. While there is doubtless 
much truth in this reasoning, the fact 
must not be overlooked that in panics 
large fortunes are won as well as for- 
tunes lost. The huge war loans, more- 
over, offered unexampled opportuni- 
ties for financial speculation. The 
statement is also made that the cap- 
italists welcomed the war as a relief 
from the intolerable burden of mili- 
tarism ; for by means of income-, prop- 
erty-, and inheritance-taxes, Socialist- 
ically-inclined legislators were shifting 
the burden of militarism so as to bear 
more and more heavily on the wealth- 
ier classes. 



III. OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



On June 28, 1914, the Archduke 
Francis Ferdinand,* nephew of Em- 
peror Francis Joseph and heir to the 
Hapsburg throne, and his morganatic 
wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, were 
assassinated by Serbian sympathizers 
while on an official visit to the town of 
Serajevo, the capital of Bosnia. It 
was generally believed in Austria that 
the crime was instigated by Pan-Ser- 
bian agitators, who had maintained 
a persistent propaganda for the ac- 
quisition of the provinces of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina ever since they had 
been annexed by Austria in 1908. 
These provinces had once formed part 
of the old Serbian Empire, and about 
half of the population was related to 
the Serbs in race and speech. Despite 
the fact that Serbia had agreed in 
1909 to recognize the annexation of 
these provinces by Austria as a fait 
accompli, the Pan-Serbian movement 
was allowed to continue in Serbia, un- 
hampered by the government author- 
ities. 

In Austria this movement was re- 
sented for two reasons. In the first 
place, Serbia had emerged from the 
second Balkan war doubled in size, and 
any further strengthening of this 
country ran counter to Austria's com- 
mercial interests in the Balkans. As 
it was, Serbia stood in the way of 
Austria's realizing her ambition of 

* Francis Ferdinand (1863-1914). Arch- 
duke of Austria-Este. Born at Graz. On 
death of Crown Prince Rudolph (1889) and his 
own father, became heir apparent to crowns of 
Austria and Hungary. Assassinated with his 
wife at Serajevo, Bosnia (June 28, 1914), as 
result of political plot due to absorption of 
Bosnia into Austro-Hungarian Empire (1908). 



reaching the ^Egean Sea at Saloniki 
as well as obstructing the Berlin to 
Bagdad route. In the second place, 
the Pan-Serbian movement was a posi- 
tive danger to the integrity of the 
Austrian Empire. If successful, it 
might encourage other racial groups 
within the Empire to disrupt com- 
pletely the Hapsburg dominions. Aus- 
tria had therefore good reasons for 
regarding the Pan-Serbian propagan- 
da with fear and resentment. Inves- 
tigations carried on by the Austrian 
officials at Serajevo led to the conclu- 
sion that the assassination of the 
Archduke had been planned by the 
conspirators at Belgrade and that 
the pistols and bombs used had been 
smuggled into Bosnia from Serbia with 
the connivance of Serbian officials. 
Having established these alleged facts, 
the Austrian government felt justified 
in proceeding in the most summary 
manner to crush once and for all the 
Pan-Serbian movement. With this in 
view there was presented to Serbia, by 
Austria, on July 23, 1914, an ulti- 
matum couched in the most vigorous 
language. Count Berchtold * was the 
Austrian Foreign Minister. 

The note began by recalling the dec- 
laration made by Serbia on the 31st of 
March, 1909, wherein Serbia recog- 
nized the fait accompli regarding Bos- 
nia and agreed to renounce any atti- 

* Berchtold, Leopold Anthony Johann 
Sigmund, Count von. Born (1863) in Vienna. 
Entered diplomatic service at early age, and 
in 1895 appointed secretary of Austrian Em- 
bassy in Paris. In 1899 appointed counselor of 
Embassy in London and in 1903 same position 
in St. Petersburg. 1912 became Foreign Minis- 
ter of Dual Monarchy. 



18 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



19 



tude of protest or opposition to the 
annexation of Bosnia by Austria. The 
Austrian note then went on to com- 
plain that Serbia had not lived up to 
this undertaking, and had made it nec- 
essary for Austria to take action to 
protect herself against the Pan-Ser- 
bian propaganda. Austria insisted 
that Serbia should make an official and 
public condemnation of this propa- 
ganda and express regret at its conse- 
quences. 

The note then submitted ten specific 
demands and required an answer from 
Serbia by six o'clock on Saturday 
evening, July 25, within 48 hours of 
its presentation. 

These demands required that Serbia 
should suppress every publication 
which excited hatred of the Dual Mon- 
archy; that the Serbian government 
dissolve certain societies accused of 
fomenting the propaganda hostile to 
Austria; that teachers guilty of insti- 
gating hatred of Austria be dismissed 
and that objectionable matter in the 
textbooks be eliminated ; that Serbia 
dismiss from her army and govern- 
mental employ all officers and officials 
found taking part in the propaganda ; 
that Serbia accept the collaboration 
of agents of the Austro-Hungarian 
government in suppression of the sub- 
versive movement against Austria ; 
that Austro-Hungarian representa- 
tives be allowed to take part in the in- 
vestigation of persons in Serbia ac- 
cused of complicity in the murder of 
the Archduke; that Serbia take action 
against two specified officials, who 
were accused of complicity in the crime 
at Serajevo; that Serbia take effective 
measures to stop the smuggling of 
arms and ammunition across her bor- 
der; and finally that Serbia give ex- 
planation of the expressions of hos- 
tility toward Austria-Hungary on the 



part of certain high Serbian officials. 

The publication of this note imme- 
diately aroused great apprehension in 
the chancelleries of the European Pow- 
ers. It was clear that Europe was 
confronted with another serious crisis. 

It is a striking fact that each of the 
Powers of the Triple Entente was con- 
fronted by serious internal difficulties 
at this most critical time. Great Brit- 
ain was threatened by serious disturb- 
ances in Ireland resulting from the 
passage of the Home Rule Bill; St. 
Petersburg was involved in a great 
strike; in France the Caillaux affair 
had affected seriously the prestige of 
the government and the Minister of 
War declared that the army was in 
a deplorable state of unpreparedness. 

The first move of Sir Edward 
Grey,* the British Foreign Secretary, 
was to urge upon Austria-Hungary 
the necessity of extending the time lim- 
it of the ultimatum. In this he was 
strongly supported by M. Sazonov, 
the Russian Foreign Minister. Ger- 
many, however, was not inclined to 
bring pressure upon her ally in this 
matter and Austria flatly refused any 
extension of time. 

Failing in this move, the British and 
Russian Ministers turned their efforts 
to persuading Serbia to accept, as far 
as possible, the demands made by Aus- 
tria. In this they were largely suc- 
cessful. 

The Serbian Reply. Serbia's reply 

* Grey, Sir Edward. Born (1862) in North- 
umberland. Educated at Winchester and Bal- 
liol College, Oxford. Entered Parliament, 1885. 
Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
1892-95. Made "Privy Councillor 1902. In 1905 
became Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 
and soon became most commanding figure in 
European diplomacy. Consummated Triple 
Entente, uniting Great Britain, France, and 
Russia. Opposed German expansion in North 
Africa. In Balkan crisis of 1912 brought about 
conference in London and presided over its 
deliberations. Unable to prevent the great 
world war, despite strenuous efforts. 



20 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



to the Austrian ultimatum was handed 
to the Austrian Minister at Belgrade 
on July 25, only two minutes before 
the expiration of the time limit. The 
reply began by stating that the Ser- 
bian government was not aware of any 
official action since 1909 protesting 
against the political status of Bosnia- 
Herzegovina, and that the only rep- 
resentation made by Austria, that con- 
cerning a school book, had been ex- 
plained to the satisfaction of the Aus- 
trian government. To this the Aus- 
trian government replied in an of- 
ficial rejoinder that it was not sufficient 
to indicate that there had been no of- 
ficial action against Austria. It was 
the failure of Serbia to use energetic 
measures to suppress unofficial agita- 
tion directed against the territorial in- 
tegrity of Austria of which complaint 
was made. 

The Serbian reply further stated 
that the Serbian government did not 
consider that they could be held re- 
sponsible for the opinions expressed 
by private individuals, such as articles 
appearing in the press and the peace- 
ful proceedings of societies. Serbia 
agreed, however, to amend her consti- 
tution to permit the enactment of leg- 
islation to suppress such publications. 
Most of the other demands were 
agreed to by Serbia with slight verbal 
changes. There were two points, 
however, with which Serbia did not 
comply. In the first place, to the 
demand that Serbia accept the colla- 
boration of agents of the Austrian 
government in the suppression of the 
subversive movement directed against 
the territorial integrity of the Dual 
Monarchy, Serbia replied that she did 
not understand exactly the meaning 
of the demand, but that she was ready 
to accept such collaboration as should 
conform to the principles of interna- 



tional law and criminal procedure. The 
Austrian rejoinder stated that it was 
not a question of international law but 
of the exercise of police powers which 
could be settled by agreement between 
the parties concerned. In the second 
place the demand made by Austria that 
Austrian officials be permitted to take 
part in the investigation relating to 
the judicial proceedings in Serbia 
against persons involved in the Sera- 
jevo crime, the Serbian government 
would not concede on the ground that 
such action would violate the Serbian 
constitution. The Austrian rejoinder 
accused the Serbian government of de- 
liberately misrepresenting the Aus- 
trian demand, which contemplated sim- 
ply a participation in the preliminary 
investigation to the judicial proceed- 
ings. Finally the Serbian government 
agreed, in case the Austrian govern- 
ment should find the reply unsatisfac- 
tory, to submit the disputed questions 
to The Hague Tribunal or the Great 
Powers for decision. 

The representatives of the Entente 
Powers were satisfied that Serbia's re- 
ply was a substantial agreement to the 
Austrian demands. Austria, however, 
claimed to find the reply wholly unsat- 
isfactory and in this view she was ap- 
parently supported by Germany, which 
country adopted the view that she 
could not infringe on Austria's sov- 
ereignty. 

From the time of the presentation 
of the Austrian ultimatum, it was rec- 
ognized on all sides that the great dan- 
ger was that any move on the part of 
Austria would precipitate a general 
European war. The delicate balance 
of interests in the Balkans could not 
be disturbed without involving serious 
consequences. Russia in particular 
felt that she was deeply interested in 
the fate of the small Slav nations in 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



21 



the Balkan Peninsula. The Russian 
Ambassador at Vienna stated on July 
24 that "any action taken by Austria 
to humiliate Serbia could not leave 
Russia indifferent." (B.W.P. No. 7.) 
At Berlin, too, it was clearly recog- 
nized that Austria's action would prob- 
ably involve Russia. The German 
memorandum states that Germany was 
fully aware that "warlike moves on the 
part of Austria-Hungary against Ser- 
bia, would bring Russia into the ques- 
tion and might draw Germany into a 
war in accordance with her duty as 
Austria's ally." (G.W.B. p. 4.) * 

Despite Austria's assurance that she 
had no intention of annexing Serbian 
territory or disturbing the balance of 
power in the Balkans, Russia felt that, 
apart from the acquisition of territory, 
the crushing of Serbia would reduce 
her to a vassal state of Austria, and 
that this would imperil the balance of 
power in the Balkans. In view of this 
situation the Russian Foreign Minister 
stated that Russia would mobilize 
against Austria on the day that the 
Austrian army crossed the Serbian 
frontier. (B.W.P. No. 72.) 

This determined attitude of Russia 
made any efforts which the Powers 
might make to localize the struggle 
futile. The next question of vital in- 
terest was the attitude which Germany 
would take. How far was she prepared 
to support her ally Austria in her un- 
compromising position towards Serbia? 
In defining its position the German gov- 
ernment declared "The attitude of the 
Imperial government in this question is 
clearly indicated. The agitation car- 
ried on by the Pan-Slavs in Austria- 

* In referring to the official documents, the 
following abbreviations are used: British White 
Paper, B.W.P.; German White Book, G.W.B. ; 
Austrian Red Book, A.R.B.; Russian Orange 
Book, R.O.B.; French Yellow Book, F.Y.B.; 
Belgian Gray Book, B.G.B.; Italian Green 
Book, I.G.B. 



Hungary has for its goal the destruc- 
tion of the Austro-Hungarian Mon- 
archy, which carries with it the shat- 
tering or weakening of the Triple Al- 
liance and, in consequence, the complete 
isolation of the German Empire. Our 
nearest interests, therefore, summon us 
to the support of Austria-Hungary." 
(G.W.B. exhibit 2.) And further "A 
morally weakened Austria under the 
pressure of Pan-slavism would be no 
longer an ally on whom we could count 
and in whom we could have confidence, 
such as we must have, in view of the 
increasingly menacing attitudes of our 
neighbors on the east and west." (G. 
W.B. memo. p. 5.) It is clear there- 
fore that Germany felt that her inter- 
ests as well as those of Austria were 
vitally affected. It was generally be- 
lieved, and openly stated, that Ger- 
many knew the nature of the Austrian 
ultimatum to Serbia before it was sent 
and had urged Austria to precipitate a 
crisis by presenting demands which 
Serbia would not accept. This was 
categorically denied by the German au- 
thorities. (B.W.P. No. 25.) Never- 
theless Germany thoroughly approved 
of the Austrian demands and insisted 
that the quarrel should be considered 
simply as an affair between Austria 
and Serbia. 

Obviously it was of the utmost im- 
portance to prevent, or at least delay, 
the first hostile move by Austria 
against Serbia. On July 26, Sir Ed- 
ward Grey suggested a conference of 
the representatives of the four Powers, 
England, France, Germany, and Italy, 
for the purpose of discovering an issue 
which would prevent complications be- 
tween Austria and Russia. (B.W.P. 
No. 36.) To this suggestion France 
and Italy agreed. Germany, however, 
declined to fall in with this plan. The 
German Foreign Minister stated that 



22 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



"a conference such as Sir Edward 
Grey suggested would amount to a 
court of arbitration and could not, in 
his opinion, be called together except 
at the request of Austria and Russia'* 
(B.W.P. No. 43) ; and furthermore 
that "he did not think it [the confer- 
ence] would be effective, because such a 
conference would in his opinion have 
had the appearance of an Areopagus 
consisting of two Powers of each group 
sitting in judgment upon the two re- 
maining Powers." (B.W.P. No. 71; 
G.W.B. memo. p. 8.) 

Direct negotiations between Russia 
and Austria were unsuccessful, Austria 
refusing to consider a modification of 
the terms of her ultimatum to Serbia. 
(B.W.P. No. 93; R.O.B. No. 45.) Fur- 
ther efforts on the part of England to 
have Germany propose some formula 
which would be acceptable proved un- 
availing (B.W.P. No. Ill), and on 
July 28, 1914, Austria declared war 
on Serbia. This action on the part of 
Austria appears explicable on one of 
two grounds. Either she was con- 
vinced that Russia was bluffing and 
would back down as she did in 1908, 
or else that Austria was prepared de- 
liberately to precipitate a European 
war. 

Germany and Russia. The Russian 
government had very definitely declared 
that Russia could not remain indiffer- 
ent to the fate of Serbia. It was gen- 
erally believed in Russia that Austria's 
action was directed against her quite 
as much as against Serbia. (R.O.B. 
No. 75.) Consequently on July 29, 
1914, Russia declared partial mobili- 
zation against Austria-Hungary. At 
the same time the Russian Foreign 
Minister stated that this action was in 
no way directed against Germany. (R. 
O.B. No. 49.) These military prepa- 
rations stimulated the diplomats in 



their final efforts to find some solution 
which would prevent a European con- 
flagration. Various formulas were sug- 
gested but none was acceptable. On 
July 29, Sir Edward Grey urged that 
"the German government should sug- 
gest any method by which the influ- 
ence of the four Powers could be used 
to prevent war between Austria and 
Russia. France agreed. Italy agreed. 
The whole idea of mediation or mediat- 
ing influence was ready to be put in 
operation by any method that Ger- 
many thought possible, if only Ger- 
many would press the button in the 
interests of peace." (B.W.P. No. 84.) 
Germany did press the button to the 
extent of urging Austria to renew ne- 
gotiations with Russia. At the same 
time Russia was requested to prepare a 
formula which would be satisfactory 
to her. M. Sazonov accordingly sub- 
mitted the following suggestion: "If 
Austria, recognizing that her conflict 
with Serbia has assumed the character 
of a question of European interest, de- 
clares herself ready to eliminate from 
her ultimatum points which violate the 
principle of the sovereignty of Serbia, 
Russia engages to stop all military 
preparations." This formula was whol- 
ly unsatisfactory to Germany and Aus- 
tria, and at the suggestion of Sir Ed- 
ward Grey the Russian formula was 
modified to read : "If Austria will 
agree to check the advance of her 
troops on Serbian territory; if, recog- 
nizing the fact that the dispute be- 
tween Austria and Serbia has assumed 
a character of European interest, she 
will allow the Great Powers to look 
into the matter and determine whether 
Serbia could satisfy the Austro-Hun- 
garian government without impairing 
her rights as a sovereign state or her 
independence, Russia will undertake to 
maintain her waiting attitude." 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



23 



One final effort was made by Eng- 
land and Germany to prevent a break 
between Austria and Russia. Sir Ed- 
ward Grey, on July 31, said that if 
Germany would suggest any reason- 
able proposal which would preserve 
peace, and if France and Russia re- 
jected such a proposal, Great Britain 
would not support them, but on the 
other hand if no such proposal were 
made and France became involved, 
Great Britain would be drawn in. (B. 
W.P. No. 111.) Germany, on her 
part, brought pressure on Austria to 
agree to discuss with Russia the terms 
of the Austrian ultimatum, and at the 
last moment, on July 31, Austria 
agreed to do so. (A.R.B. Nos. 49-50.) 
This slim chance of preventing a break 
at the eleventh hour was nullified by 
the demand made by Germany that 
Russia should cease her military prepa- 
rations and demobilize her army. At 
midnight on July 31, 1914, the Ger- 
man Ambassador delivered an ultima- 
tum to Russia demanding that she de- 
mobilize her forces not only against 
Germany but also against Austria- 
Hungary. (R.O.B. No. 70.) As Rus- 
sia returned no reply to this demand 
the German Ambassador was ordered 
on August 1, at 5 p.m., to notify the 
Russian government that Germany 
considered that a state of war existed 
between the two countries. (G.W.B. 
exhibit 26; R.O.B. No. 76.) 

Germany and France. At the same 
time that Germany presented the ulti- 
matum to Russia, a communication was 
sent to France informing her of Ger- 
many's action and asking what atti- 
tude France would take in the event 
of war between Germany and Russia. 
An answer was demanded within 18 
hours. (F.Y.B. No. 116; G.W.B. ex- 
hibit 25.) To this demand the French 
Premier replied on August 1, that 



"France would take such action as her 
interests might require." (G.W.B. ex- 
hibit 27.) Despite this unsatisfactory 
answer the German Ambassador did 
not leave Paris until August 3. In the 
meantime charges and countercharges 
were made by the French and German 
authorities that warlike moves had been 
made on the frontier. 

A document which was purported to 
be instructions from the Imperial Ger- 
man government to its ambassador at 
Paris was published about the middle 
of 1918 in the French press at the in- 
stance of the government. The Ger- 
man Ambassador was to ask the 
French Government if it would remain 
neutral in case of war between Rus- 
sia and Germany. If the answer was 
"Yes," the German Ambassador was 
to demand the surrender of Verdun, 
Nancy, Toul, and Belfort and other 
strategic points as a guarantee that 
France would keep her word and re- 
main neutral. Inasmuch as this would 
be a severe infringement upon the sov- 
ereignty of France and would likely 
be met by a flat refusal, the inference 
is drawn that Germany did not want 
France to remain neutral, but wished 
to draw her into a world conflict. 

Great Britain and Germany. From 
the first it was evident that the ques- 
tion of England's attitude in the face 
of the great European crisis was of 
the most vital importance. In that 
most critical week following the presen- 
tation of the Austrian ultimatum, Sir 
Edward Grey worked early and late 
to arrive at some peaceful solution of 
the difficulty. From the very begin- 
ning France and Russia had urged 
Great Britain to come out with a def- 
inite statement that if war was pre- 
cipitated she would support them, 
pointing out that such a stand by 
Great Britain would deter Germany 



24 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



from entering the war. M. Sazonov, 
the Russian Foreign Minister, said "he 
did not believe that Germany realty 
wanted war, but her attitude was de- 
cided by England's. If she took her 
stand firmly with France and Russia 
there would be no war." (B.W.P. No. 
17.) The President of France, M. 
Poincare,* went so far as to appeal 
directly to King George stating "I am 
profoundly convinced that at the pres- 
ent moment the more Great Britain, 
France, and Russia can give a deep 
impression that they are united in their 
diplomatic action, the more possible it 
will be to count upon the preservation 
of peace." Sir Edward Grey did not 
accept their suggestions. It was his 
view that Great Britain could work 
most effectively for peace by playing 
the part of mediator. At the same 
time he made it clear to the German 
Ambassador that if Germany and 
France became involved "the issue 
might be so great that it would in- 
volve European interests and he did 
not wish him to be misled into think- 
ing that Great Britain would stand 
aside." (B.W.P. No. 89.) Germany 
fully appreciated the importance of 
keeping Great Britain neutral, if pos- 
sible. With this end in view the Ger- 
man Chancellor proposed that if Great 
Britain would remain neutral Germany 

Poixcare, Raymond. Born (1860) in Bar- 
le-Duc, Lorraine. Educated early at lycees of 
Bar-le-Duc and Louis-le-Grand. Later made 
brilliant record as law student in Paris. Prac- 
ticed law for short time. At age of 27 elected 
to Chamber of Deputies. Opposed separation 
of church and state. Made Minister of Public 
Instruction (1893); Minister of Finance 
(1894). Held various ministries. Elected to 
Senate (1903). Prime Minister (1912) and 
took portfolio of Foreign Affairs. Vigorous 
supporter of alliance with Russia and of the 
entente with England. Elected President 
(1913). Believed" President should not be 
figurehead and made himself influential. Fa- 
vored three-year military service bill. Admit- 
ted to French Academy (1909). Author of 
several books. 



would guarantee that no territorial ac- 
quisitions would be made at the ex- 
pense of France. He was unwilling, 
however, to make a similar undertak- 
ing in regard to the French colonies. 
(B.W.P. No. 85.) This suggestion 
was declined by Great Britain on the 
ground that France might be so 
crushed as to lose her position as a 
great power, without having territory 
taken from her. Furthermore that 
other contingencies might arise which 
would justify Great Britain's entrance 
into the war. (B.W.P. No. 101.) A 
further request from Germany that Sir 
Edward Grey formulate conditions on 
which Great Britain would remain neu- 
tral was declined. He stated that "he 
could only say that they must keep 
their hands free." (B.W.P. No. 123.) 
The British government, therefore, up 
to the very last day of European peace 
refused either to bind herself to come 
to the aid of France and Russia or to 
remain neutral. 

Question of Belgian Neutrality. The 
Congress of Vienna in 1815 turned 
over the Austrian Netherlands, or Bel- 
gium, to Holland in compensation for 
certain Dutch colonial possessions re- 
tained by Great Britain. This union 
was opposed by the Belgians and at 
the first favorable opportunity (1830) 
they revolted. France was anxious to 
annex the provinces but Great Britain, 
following her traditional policy, op- 
posed their union with any great pow- 
er. This opposition was due to the 
proximity of the Belgian coast to her 
shores and also because of the impor- 
tant commercial interests of Great 
Britain in these rich provinces, which 
might suffer if they passed into the 
hands of some great European power. 
Great Britain's interests would be best 
served by erecting Belgium into an in- 
dependent state and by guaranteeing 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



25 



the permanence of this independent 
status by making the country perpet- 
ually neutral. Accordingly in 1831 
the principal European Powers, Great 
Britain, France, Prussia, and Russia, 
joined in guaranteeing the indepen- 
dence and perpetual neutrality of Bel- 
gium. This treaty was replaced by 
treaties signed in 1839 after Holland 
had agreed to recognize Belgian inde- 
pendence. When in 1870, at the out- 
break of the Franco-Prussian War, it 
seemed possible that one or both of the 
combatants might violate the neutral- 
ity of Belgium, a separate treaty was 
signed between Great Britain and each 
of the belligerents, by which Great 
Britain agreed that if either belliger- 
ent should violate Belgian neutrality 
the other could rely upon England as 
an ally in defense of the treaty of 
1839. 

When on July 31, 1914, the out- 
break of a European war seemed un- 
avoidable, Sir Edward Grey tele- 
graphed the British ambassadors at 
Paris and Berlin to request the French 
and German governments to state 
whether they were prepared to respect 
the neutrality of Belgium so long as no 
other power violated it. To this the 
French authorities returned an affir- 
mative answer. The German Secre- 
tary of State, however, stated that it 
was doubtful if Germany could return 
any reply without disclosing a certain 
amount of her plan of campaign. On 
August 2, 1914, the German Minister 
presented to the Belgian Foreign Min- 
ister an ultimatum which stated that 
Germany had "reliable information 
... of the intention of France to 
march through Belgian territory," that 
it was "an imperative duty for the 
preservation of Germany to forestall 
this attack." Germany agreed to 
evacuate Belgian territory as soon as 



the war was over and to indemnify Bel- 
gium for all damages if she would 
maintain an attitude of "friendly neu- 
trality." In case of refusal Germany 
stated that Belgium would be consid- 
ered as an enemy and the question 
would be left "to a decision of arms." 
(B.G.B. No. 20.) To this demand the 
Belgian government returned a flat re- 
fusal and stated that they were "firmly 
resolved to repulse by every means 
within their power any attack upon 
their rights." (B.G.B. No. 22.) At 
the same time Belgium called upon 
Great Britain, France, and Russia, as 
signatories of the treaty of 1839, to 
carry out the guarantee of Belgian 
neutrality. In response to this request 
Sir Edward Grey on August 4, 1914, 
sent an ultimatum to Germany demand- 
ing a satisfactory reply to her request 
that Belgian neutrality be respected 
and requiring an answer by midnight 
of the same day. Upon Germany's re- 
fusal to give such a guarantee Great 
Britain declared war on Germany. 
While the violation of Belgian neutral- 
ity was the ostensible reason for Great 
Britain's declaration of war, she had, 
as a matter of fact, intervened in the 
war two days before the dispatch of 
her ultimatum to Germany. In a 
speech made in the House of Commons 
on August 2, 1914, Sir Edward Grey 
stated that he had on that day assured 
the French government that the Brit- 
ish fleet would protect the northern 
coast of France from any attack by 
the German fleet. By this act Great 
Britain had tentatively intervened in 
the war, and the violation of Belgian 
neutrality by Germany changed this 
partial and tentative intervention into 
full participation in the war. 

German authorities clearly appre- 
ciated that Germany's action in invad- 
ing Belgium would arouse public sen- 



26 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



timent in most neutral countries and 
strenuous efforts were made subse- 
quently to justify their action. In a 
speech in the Reichstag on August 4, 
1914, the German Chancellor, Theo- 
bald von Bethmann-Hollweg,* said: 
"Gentlemen, we are now acting in self- 
defense. Necessity knows no law. Our 
troops have occupied Luxemburg and 
have possibly already entered on Bel- 
gian soil. Gentlemen, this is a breach 
of international law." But other 
grounds than that of bald necessity 
have been advanced by German apol- 
ogists to justify their action. It has 
been claimed that Prussia, and not 
the German Empire, signed the treaty 
of 1839 and hence the latter was not 
bound by its provisions. To this it 
has been answered that the German 
Empire succeeded to the obligations of 
its component parts and that all 
treaties survived that were not for- 
mally renounced. It has also been 
stated that the treaty of 1839 was 
superseded by the treaties of 1870 
which latter had lapsed. From the 
debates in the British Parliament at 
the time of the proposal of the treaties 
of 1870 there is no indication that the 
treaty of 1839 was to be superseded 
but rather to be strengthened. Ger- 
many furthermore claimed that certain 
secret documents which were discovered 
among the papers of the Belgian gov- 
ernment at Brussels go to prove that 
Belgium had by its own acts relieved 
Germany of the obligation to respect 

* Bethmann-Hollweg, Theobald Theodore 
Frederic Alfred von. Born (1856) in Bran- 
denburg, Germany. Educated at College of 
Pforta and at universities of Strassburg, 
Leipsic and Berlin. Appointed Landrat of 
Oberbarnim, Brandenburg. President Province 
of Brandenburg (1901), Minister of Interior 
(1905), appointed Imperial Secretary of State 
for the Interior and Vice President of the 
Prussian Council (1907), and Chancellor of 
the German Empire (1909). A mild conserva- 
tive, but non-partisan in domestic affairs. 



her neutrality. These documents con- 
tain an account of certain conversa- 
tions between the Chief of the Belgian 
General Staff and the British Mili- 
tary Attache at Brussels, relative to 
the sending of British military forces 
to Belgium in case of an invasion of 
the latter by Germany. The German 
authorities claim that this amounted 
to an Anglo-Belgian alliance against 
Germany. In answer to this charge 
King Albert * of Belgium stated, ac- 
cording to an interview in the New 
York World (March 22, 1915), that 
the conversations referred to had been 
long known to the German authorities, 
having been communicated to the Ger- 
man Military Attache at Brussels so 
as to avoid any semblance of entering 
into an unneutral agreement. Germany 
also complained that Belgian military 
preparations for the defense of her 
neutrality, instead of being impartially 
directed against the possibility of an 
attack from any of the Powers, were 
made entirely against Germany. To 
this it is answered that the fortress of 
Namur was directed against France as 
Liege was directed against Germany. 
Furthermore that if greater energy 
had been directed towards fortifying 
the German than the French frontier, 
this was but natural in view of the 
German activity in building military 
railways leading up to the Belgian 
frontier. Finally Germany declared 
that her invasion of Belgium was in 
response to violations of Belgian neu- 
trality by France. But of this no 
satisfactory evidence has been pro- 

* Albert I., King of the Belgians. Born 
in 1875. Carefully educated. Democratic and 
firiendly in manner. Traveled widely and 
student of economics and politics. Made tour 
of Belgian Congo and advocated reform in 
the treatment of natives. When he became 
King (December, 1909) many improvements 
were made in the administration of the colony. 
One of the heroic figures of the great war. 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



27 



duced. To the impartial observer, 
therefore, it would appear that Ger- 
man justification for the violation of 
Belgian neutrality must rest entirely 
on the ground of military necessity. 

The Lichnowsky Memorandum. 
Notes taken by Prince Lichnowsky, 
formerly German Ambassador in Lon- 
don, were made public early in 1918 
and caused a sensation in the press of 
the belligerent powers by their revela- 
tion of the friendly attitude of Eng- 
land and her desire to maintain peace 
in the period just preceding the war. 
The memorandum, which bears the title 
My London Mission, 1912-H, was 
dated August 16, 1916. When called 
to account by his government the 
prince said that the document was 
meant for the family archives and 
that it had found its way outside that 
circle as a result of a breach of con- 
fidence. He expressed his regret and 
resigned his rank as ambassador. The 
government forbade the prince to write 
articles for the press. Space is lack- 
ing for the quotation of the letters, but 
the following summary indicates his 
general attitude. In the first place he 
emphasized the conciliatory attitude 
of the British statesmen, especially Sir 
Edward Grey. Reviewing the policy 
of the German government just before 
the war, he said that although it had 
made repeated errors there, everything 
was still open as late as July, 1914. 
Agreement with England had been 
reached. If a representative of aver- 
age ability had been sent to St. Peters- 
burg he might have convinced Russia 
of Germany's peaceful intentions. The 
German government could have proven 
to Russia that it had no desire to seize 
the Dardanelles or to destroy the 
Serbs. At this time M. Sazonov was 
saying, "Leave Austria and we will 
leave the French," and the French 



ambassador was saying, "You need 
not follow Austria everywhere." He 
said that there was no need then of 
either alliances or wars, but only of 
treaties that would protect Germany 
and others and guarantee Germany an 
economic development. After Russia 
had been relieved of trouble in the west 
she would have turned again to the east 
which would have saved the situation. 
He said that Germany might also have 
taken up the matter of the limitation 
of armaments. He summed up the 
case against his own government as 
follows : 

"As appears from all official publications, 
without the facts being controverted by our 
own White Book, which, owing to its poverty 
and gaps, constitutes a grave self-accusation: 

(1). We encouraged Count Berchtold to at- 
tack Serbia, although no German interest was 
involved, and the danger of a world war must 
have been known to us — whether we knew the 
text of the ultimatum is a question of com- 
plete indifference. 

(2). In the days between July 23 and July 
30, 1914, when M. Sazonov emphatically de- 
clared that Russia could not tolerate an attack 
on Serbia, we rejected the British proposals of 
mediation, although Serbia, under Russian and 
British pressure, had accepted almost the whole 
ultimatum, and although an agreement about 
the two points in question could easily have 
been reached, and Count Berchtold was even 
ready to satisfy himself with the Serbian re- 
ply- 

(3). On July 30, when Count Berchtold 
wanted to give way, we, without Austria's hav- 
ing attacked, replied to Russia's mere mobili- 
zation by sending an ultimatum to St. Peters- 
burg, and on July 31 we declared war on the 
Russians, although the czar had pledged his 
word that as long as negotiations continued not 
a man should march — so that we deliberately 
destroyed the possibility of a peaceful settle- 
ment. 

In view of these indisputable facts, it is not 
surprising that the whole civilized world out- 
side Germany attributes to us the sole guilt 
for the world's war." 

In one of his papers the prince asks 
the following questions : "Is it not in- 
telligible that our enemies declare that 
they will not rest until a system is de- 
stroyed which constitutes a perma- 



28 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



nent threatening of our neighbors?" 
. . . "Were those people not right 
who declared that it was the spirit of 
Treitschke and Bernhardi which domi- 
nated the German people — the spirit 
which glorifies war as an aim in itself 
and does not abhor it as an evil?" 

Italy's Position. At the outbreak of 
the European War, Italy found her- 
self in a most trying position. To 
Austria and Germany she was bound 
by the defensive treaty of the Triple 
Alliance. Her position as a member of 
this alliance had from the beginning 
been unnatural. Ever since Italy ob- 
tained national unity in 1870, there 
has been a strong movement to obtain 
the Italian-speaking provinces of Tri- 
este and Trentino, still held by Aus- 
tria. This aspiration in Italy for what 
is called "Italia Irredenta," or unre- 
deemed Italy, has been a source of fric- 
tion between Italy and Austria. 

The first indication of Italy's waver- 
ing in the support of her allies was 
when she threw her influence against 
Germany at the Algeciras Conference 
in 1906. Again in 1908 Italy was 
much irritated when Austria-Hungary 
annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, thereby 
strengthening her position on the 
Adriatic Sea. But the most serious 
blow to the diplomatic group of the 
Triple Alliance was given by Italy in 
1911 when she declared war on Tur- 
key, a country which had come to be 
regarded as a member of the Triple 
Alliance group. Germany and Aus- 
tria were forced to stand by and allow 
Italy to weaken the influence of the 
Triple Alliance by dismembering Tur- 
key. All of these events indicated that 
Italy's attitude at the outbreak of a 
European war would be uncertain. Her 
position was made more precarious by 
her extensive coast line. Any war 
which involved Great Britain as an 



enemy would expose Italy to attack 
by the powerful British navy. 

Apart, however, from questions of 
vital self-interest, Italy maintained 
that under the terms of the Triple Al- 
liance she was not bound to come to 
the aid of Germany and Austria-Hun- 
gary, because, in her view, Austria- 
Hungary had been the aggressor and 
Italy's obligations under the treaty 
contemplated only a defensive war. Ac- 
cordingly on August 1, 1911, Italy de- 
clared that she would remain neutral. 
Italy's declaration of neutrality did 
not, as the Italian Foreign Minister 
stated, "signify the relinquishment of 
Italian interests in the Balkans and in 
the Adriatic, but, on the contrary, the 
persuasion that such interests and as- 
pirations shall be validly supported 
while the neutrality be maintained." 
(I.G.B. No. 2.) 

Italy's next step was a most dif- 
ficult one to determine. Should she - 
remain neutral she could expect to gain 
little from either side, and she had to 
fear from her former allies, Germany 
and Austria, in case of their military 
success, a revengeful attitude. On the 
other hand to join the Entente allies 
was a difficult policy to pursue. In 
the first place it involved the moral 
question of turning against her former 
allies. In the second place the Rus- 
sian and Serbian policy in the Balkans 
was not certain to be in agreement 
with Italy's ambition to control the 
Adriatic. Other considerations also 
caused Italy to hesitate before casting 
in her lot with the Entente allies. Such 
were the unfavorable financial condi- 
tion of the country, the pro-German 
sympathies of the royal family, and 
the opposition of ex-Premier Giolitti,* 

* Giolttti, Giovanni. Born (1843) at Mon- 
dovi in Province of Cuneo. Educated at Turin. 
Served in a department of Ministry of Finance. 
Elected to Chamber of Deputies. 1889 became 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



29 



who, with a strong personal following 
in the Italian Parliament, maintained 
that Italy should not enter the war. 

For 10 months the contest between 
the neutralists and the interventionists 
went on in Italy. Great efforts were 
made by Germany and Austria, espe- 
cially through Prince von Biilow and 
his Italian wife, to influence public 
opinion in Italy. It was clear, how- 
ever, that there was a steady drift of 
popular sentiment in favor of the En- 
tente. This movement was strength- 
ened, too, by the death of the Marquis 
di San Giuliano, Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, in October, 1914, who was 
popularly regarded as a strong sym- 
pathizer with Germany and Austria- 
Hungary. Baron Sidney Sonnino,* 
who succeeded him, is regarded as one 
of the most astute Italian statesmen 
since Cavour. In the meantime the 
Italian government had entered upon a 
series of communications with Austria- 
Hungary looking to a satisfaction of 
Italian aspirations and interests in the 
Balkans. The Italian Foreign Minis- 
ter began by setting forth that, under 
Article VII of the Triple Alliance, 
Italy was entitled to compensations, in 
the event of any occupation of Serbian 
territory, even temporarily, by Aus- 
tria-Hungary. The Austrian officials 

Minister of the Treasury and following year 
Minister of Finance. Forced to resign because 
of his policy of extreme economy. Became 
President of Ministry in 1892. Introduced 
many reforms in favor of lower classes. In 
1893 compelled to resign because of bank scan- 
dals. Became Minister of the Interior in 1901, 
resigned May, 1903. Prime Minister several 
times. Resigned last time in 1914 on veto of 
colonial budget. 

* Sonnino, Sidney, Baron. Born (1847) at 
Pisa. Graduated from university there (1865). 
In diplomatic service (1867-72), and after 1880 
deputy in Italian legislature. Minister of 
Finance (1893-94). Minister of Treasury, Pre- 
mier and Minister of the Interior in 1906 and 
1909-10. Accepted portfolio of Foreign Af- 
fairs December, 1914, when Italy made prep- 
arations to enter European war. Author of 
works on social and political topics. 



were not inclined to admit, at first, 
that Italy had any valid claim to com- 
pensations under the terms of the 
treaty of alliances. 

From this stand, however, Austria 
soon receded, probably under pressure 
from Germany, and conceded the prin- 
ciple that Italy was entitled to com- 
pensations. There followed several 
months of protracted negotiations. 
Italy demanded as the minimum that 
she would accept in the way of com- 
pensations "the district of the Tren- 
tino, a new district on the Isonzo, the 
special treatment of Trieste, the ces- 
sion of some islands of the Curzolari 
Archipelago, a declaration of Aus- 
tria's disinterestedness in Albania, and 
the recognition of our possession of 
Valona and Dodecanesia." To these 
demands Austria was willing to con- 
cede only a portion of the Trentino 
and was unwilling to make any cession 
before the end of the war. 

These fruitless negotiations culmi- 
nated in the declaration by Italy, on 
May 4, that she no longer considered 
herself bound by the provisions of the 
Triple Alliance. After three weeks of 
hesitation during which public excite- 
ment in Italy reached a high pitch, 
Italy finally declared war on Austria, 
May 24, 1915. Just before the final 
break, according to a statement made 
by the German Chancellor, Austria- 
Hungary made a last attempt to pur- 
chase Italy's neutrality offering (1) 
the Italian part of the Tirol; (2) the 
western bank of the Isonzo "in so far 
as the population is purely Italian," 
and the town of Gradisca; (3) sov- 
ereignty over Valona and a free hand 
in Albania; (4) special treatment of 
Italian nationals in Austria and am- 
nesty for political prisoners who were 
natives in the ceded provinces; (5) 
Trieste to be made an Imperial free 



30 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



city, and to have an Italian University. 
Furthermore, it was stated that Aus- 
tria would make these concessions at 
once and not wait for the conclusion 
of the war. 

Japan's Position. Japan's entrance 
into the European War was due to 
her treaty of alliance with Great Brit- 
ain. After the Chinese-Japanese War 
Japan was deprived of the fruits of 
her victory, when Port Arthur and the 
Liaotung peninsula had to be returned 
to China at the demand of Russia, 
France, and Germany. Smarting un- 
der this humiliation, Japan turned to 
Great Britain and in 1902 negotiated 
a treaty of alliance, according to the 
terms of which Japan agreed to come 
to the defense of Great Britain's east- 
ern possessions if she were attacked by 
more than one Power. Great Britain 
on the other hand insured Japan 
against a European coalition such as 
had intervened at the conclusion of 
the Chinese-Japanese War. 

At the outbreak of the European 
War Japan saw her opportunity to re- 
venge her humiliation at the close of 
the Chinese War. Actuated also by a 
determination to carry out her obliga- 
tions to Great Britain, the Japanese 
representative in Berlin presented an 
ultimatum on August 19, 1911, "ad- 
vising" Germany to withdraw all war- 
ships from Asiatic waters and turn 
over to Japan the territory of Kiao- 
chow before September 15, 1911, which 
territory Japan promised eventually 
to restore to China. This port and 
surrounding territory had been ob- 
tained by Germany from China in 
1897 as a compensation for the mur- 
der of two German missionaries. The 
Germans had fortified the harbor 
strongly and had made it a fine naval 
base. As Germany refused to reply to 
the Japanese demand, Japan declared 



war on August 23, 1914. The Japa- 
nese Foreign Minister defended this 
action on the ground that Japan was 
bound by treaty obligations to come to 
the aid of her ally, Great Britain, and 
that Germany's position at Kiaochow 
gravely threatened the maintenance of 
peace in the Far East and the inde- 
pendence and integrity of China which 
Japan had bound herself to maintain. 

Turkey. Germanic influence had for 
a number of years prior to the out- 
break of the war been predominant 
in Turkey. It was natural, therefore, 
that Turkish sympathies would be with 
the Teutonic allies. But Turkey hesi- 
tated, at first, to make common cause 
with Germany because of her exposed 
position and the fact that her recent 
experiences in the Balkan wars had 
left her exhausted. Events, however, 
rapidly forced Turkey to abandon her 
attitude of quasi-neutrality. Shortly 
after the outbreak of the war two Ger- 
man warships, the Goeben and the 
Breslau, in order to escape capture by 
the British and French fleets, sought 
refuge in the Dardanelles. The de- 
mand of England and France that 
these ships should either be forced to 
put to sea or be interned was answered 
by Turkey stating that she had pur- 
chased the ships from Germany. Tur- 
key also refused to remove the German 
crews of the two vessels. The Triple 
Entente also resented the action of 
Turkey in closing the Dardanelles and 
in serving notice that the "capitula- 
tions," under the terms of which the 
national subjects of various Powers 
were given special privileges in Turkey, 
would be revoked on October 1, 1914. 

When on October 29 the former Ger- 
man warship, the Breslau, bombarded 
the Russian Black Sea port of Theo- 
dosia, Russia accepted this as a dec- 
laration of war and the following day 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



31 



the Russian Ambassador at Constanti- 
nople demanded his passports. This 
action of Russia was followed by 
France and England declaring war on 
Turkey, November 5, 191-1. Turkey's 
entrance into the war aroused the hope 
in Germany and some fear in Great 
Britain and France that a Holy War 
would be proclaimed by the Sultan 
which would arouse the Moslem popu- 
lations in India, Egypt, and Morocco. 
The Sultan's efforts in this direction 
proved unavailing, and no serious up- 
rising occurred among the Moham- 
medan subjects of Great Britain and 
France. 

The Balkan States. The opening of 
the European War found the Balkan 
Peninsula in the political shape given 
to it by the Treaty of Bucharest, Au- 
gust 10, 1913, which closed the second 
Balkan War. This treaty, which rep- 
resented the latest effort on the part 
of the European Powers to adjust the 
Balkan situation, proved unsatisfac- 
tory to nearly all of the parties con- 
cerned. Turkey did not accept with 
good grace the loss of nearly all of her 
European territory. Bulgaria was bit- 
ter towards her former allies, Greece, 
Serbia, and Montenegro, who she felt 
had treacherously combined to deprive 
her of her just rewards. Serbia re- 
sented the action of Austria, Italy, and 
Germany in depriving her of an outlet 
to the Adriatic. Montenegro was dis- 
appointed in being forced to surrender 
Scutari. Finally Albania, the new 
state created by the Powers to thwart 
Serbia's ambition to reach the Adri- 
atic, was in a state of ill-disguised an- 
archy under the shadowy control of 
Prince William of Wied.* 

* William of Wied, Prince (Wilhelm Fried- 
rich Heinrich). Born (1876) at Neuwied, 
Prussia. Studied law and political science at 
Jena. Later graduated with distinction at the 
Kriegsakademie. Accepted throne of Albania 



As has been seen, Serbia had been 
involved in the war from the beginning 
and Montenegro soon threw in her lot 
with her neighbor. The attitude of the 
other Balkan states was a matter of 
great concern to the diplomats of the 
allied groups. During the months suc- 
ceeding the outbreak of the war, a dip- 
lomatic struggle ensued in these states, 
with the aim of winning their support 
to one or the other side. 

In this struggle the diplomats of the 
Teutonic Powers had certain distinct 
advantages. In the first place the mon- 
archs (Constantine I,* Ferdinand I,f 
Charles I $) of the three states, 

offered to him by great Powers of Europe 
(1914). Reign troubled and forced to leave 
country September, 1914. Albanian Senavte 
elected as ruler Burhan Eddin, the son of the 
former sultan of Turkey. His bitter opponent 
and rival for the throne was Essad Pascha. 

* Constantine I., King of Greece, born 
(1868) in Athens, son of King George I. and 
Olga, niece of Czar Nicholas I. Studied at 
the Universities of Berlin and Leipsic. Mar- 
ried (1889) a sister of Emperor William II. of 
Germany. Received careful military training. 
Commander in chief of Greek forces in Turk- 
ish War of 1897. In the Balkan War (1912-13) 
acquitted himself so well, he was hailed as na- 
tional hero. Became King of the Hellenes on 
March 21, 1913. Continued campaigns against 
Turks and Bulgarians and doubled area of 
country. During the European war he main- 
tained a strong pro-German attitude as a re- 
sult of which he was compelled to abdicate by 
the Entente Allies. He was succeeded by his 
second son Alexander. 

f Ferdinand I. Born (1861) in Vienna. Re- 
ceived excellent education. Offered throne of 
Bulgaria (1886) and took oath to constitution 
and title of Prince (1887). Not recognized by 
Great Powers or Turkey until 1896. In 1908 
proclaimed full independence of Bulgaria and 
assumed title of King. Royal title recognized 
by Powers and Turkey in 1909. Favored form- 
ation of Balkan League and prosecution of 
Balkan War (1912-13). As a result of this 
war territory increased, but not sufficiently to 
satisfy Ferdinand. 

$ Charles I. Born (1839). Served in Prus- 
sian army. Elected Prince of Rumania (1866). 
Country in wretched condition. Showed tact 
and statesmanship in work of reorganization. 
Helped Russia in Russo-Turkish War (1877). 
Declared independence of Rumania shortly 
after beginning of war. In 1881 crowned 
King. Country developed, education advanced. 
Held aloof from recent war in Balkans. Be- 
loved by peasants, but opposed by landowning 
Boyards (lower nobility). 



32 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Greece, Bulgaria, and Rumania, were 
related by blood and marriage with the 
Teutonic royal families. Moreover, as 
the British Prime Minister (H. H. As- 
quith *) indicated in a speech in the 
House of Commons, Germany had a 
distinct advantage in that she could 
conduct her negotiations with a single- 
ness of purpose, as her interests and 
those of Austria-Hungary were identi- 
cal. On the other hand, the Entente 
diplomats had to consider the interests, 
not always identical, of three and, 
later, four Powers. Finally the En- 
tente allies were handicapped by the 
fact that Russian ambitions in the Bal- 
kans conflicted with the national aspi- 
rations of the smaller Balkan states; 
that Italy's territorial ambitions in Al- 
bania ran counter to the legitimate as- 
pirations of Serbia, and that Greece 
resented the attempt of Itah T to gain a 
foothold on the coast of Asia Miner, 
which was racially and historically 
Greek. 

In view of these conditions it is not 
surprising that the efforts of the En- 
tente diplomats, even had they been 
conducted more skillfully than they ap- 
pear to have been, should have failed. 

Bulgaria. — The second Balkan War 

left, as has been noted, a heritage or 

bitterness and hatred among the former 

Balkan allies. The Bulgars, smarting 

under the humiliation of the Treaty of 

Bucharest, welcomed the opportunity 

* Asquith, Herbert Henry. Born (1852) 
in Yorkshire. Admitted to bar after gradua- 
tion from Oxford. Became member of Par- 
liament and won favor of Gladstone. Made 
Home Secretary (1882). Favored free trade. 
Helped turn Conservatives out of office (1905) 
and became Chancellor of the Exchequer under 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and because 
of feeble health of Prime Minister, virtual head 
of government. Favored old-age pension bill, 
which was passed. Became Prime Minister 
(1908) and a liberal programme accelerated. 
House of Lords sheared of power of veto, be- 
cause opposed to social legislation and defeat 
of budget. He resigned on December 5, 1916, 
and was succeeded by David Lloyd George. 



to revenge themselves upon their for- 
mer allies. Completely disillusioned 
by their experiences of the past few 
years, they put aside all feeling of 
generosity or gratitude and frankly 
adopted a programme of "real politik." 
To the diplomats of the Entente and 
the Teutonic allies the Bulgarian au- 
thorities made it clear that all ques- 
tion of sentiment, so far as Bulgaria 
was concerned, was to be disregarded 
and that they were prepared to sell out 
to the highest bidder. Great Britain 
and France brought pressure to bear 
on Rumania, Serbia, and Greece to sat- 
isfy, in part, the territorial demands of 
Bulgaria. The Teutonic Powers made 
counter proposals promising Bulgaria 
a large part of Serbian territory in 
case of the success of the Central Pow- 
ers. For more than a year Bulgaria 
hesitated, apparently weighing the rela- 
tive advantages of the rival proposals. 
In the meantime the Bulgarian army 
was mobilized, in order to be prepared 
when the final decision was reached. It 
became increasingly evident as the 
months passed that the attitude of King 
Ferdinand and the military leaders was 
favorable to the Teutonic allies. Mat- 
ters were brought to a head when, on 
Oct. 3, 1915, Russia notified Bulgaria 
that if she did not, within 24 hours, 
break with the Teutonic Powers, the 
Russian Minister would withdraw from 
Sofia. A similar demand was made by 
France, while Great Britain stated that 
if Bulgaria precipitated hostilities in 
the Balkans she would break off rela- 
tions with her. On Oct. 8, 1915, Bul- 
garia replied, rejecting these demands 
and throwing her support to the Teu- 
tonic Powers. In a manifesto issued 
by M. Radoslavoff,* the Bulgarian Pre- 

* Vaseil Radoslavoff, born in Lowatsch; stud- 
ied law at Heidelberg; at various times served 
as Minister of Justice, Minister of the Interior, 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



33 



mier, there was set forth the reasons 
for Bulgaria's decision. He stated 
frankly that considerations of self-in- 
terest had dictated the step. He 
pointed out that Bulgaria's chief eco- 
nomic interests were with the Teutonic 
Powers and Turkey, and that these in- 
terests would be seriously menaced if 
Constantinople fell into the hands of 
Russia. In reviewing the proposals of 
concessions made to Bulgaria by the 
opposing groups, he held that the Teu- 
tonic proposals were more advanta- 
geous to Bulgaria. And finally he had 
reached the conclusion that the pro- 
gress of the war indicated the probable 
success of the Central Powers, and it 
was vital to the interests of Bulgaria 
to be on the side of the victors. 

Greece. — Conflicting influences and 
interests complicated the situation in 
Greece at the outbreak of the war. On 
the one hand, the royal family was 
closely related to the Hohenzollerns, 
the Greek Queen Sophia being a sister of 
the German Emperor, William II. On 
the other hand, the Premier Venizelos * 
felt that the best interests of Greece 
would be served by joining the Entente 
allies. Popular sympathy in the coun- 
try appeared to be with the Entente 
group, and especially with France. In 
addition, Greece was bound by a treaty 
of alliance with Serbia which obligated 
her to come to the aid of Serbia if she 

and Premier; did much as Premier in 1913 to 
bring Balkan War to an end; became Premier 
and Minister of Foreign Affairs (October, 
1915) during European War; made important 
declarations of Bulgarian policy; shot at twice 
(March, 1916). 

* Vexizelos, Eleutherios. Born (1864) on 
island of Crete. Graduated (1886) from Uni- 
versity of Athens in law. Made brilliant repu- 
tation as a lawyer. At 25 chosen to Cretan 
legislature. Minister of Justice in 1899. Fa- 
vored political union of Crete and Greece. 
Chosen Premier of Crete (1910). Central fig- 
ure in events in the Balkans. Greek premier 
in 1910. Had prominent part in revising Greek 
constitution. Championed side of Triple En- 
tente. 



were attacked by Bulgaria. During the 
first months of the war the diplomats 
of France and Great Britain directed 
their efforts to winning all of the Bal- 
kan states to the support of the En- 
tente. With this end in view both 
Greece and Serbia were urged to make 
territorial concessions to Bulgaria. 
These efforts were seconded by M. 
Venizelos, but the Greek King flatly 
opposed any territorial concessions and 
maintained that the best interests of 
Greece would be served by the observ- 
ance of strict neutrality. The break 
between the King and his chief Minis- 
ter led to the resignation of the latter 
in March, 1915. His return to office 
shortly after as a result of popular ap- 
proval expressed in the elections to the 
new Chamber was hailed as a victory 
for the Entente, and it was generally 
expected that Greece would soon enter 
the war. The situation became acute 
when, in September, 1915, Bulgaria 
mobilized her army and Greece did like- 
wise. Bulgaria's entrance into the war 
on the side of the Teutonic Powers 
raised the question of Greece's obliga- 
tion under the treaty of alliance with 
Serbia. M. Venizelos maintained that 
Greece was bound to come to Serbia's 
aid, but the King once more interposed 
his objections, holding that the treaty 
contemplated only a local Balkan war 
and not one in which the Great Powers 
were involved. Again M. Venizelos re- 
signed. In the meantime arrangements 
had been made by the Greek Premier 
with the Entente allies for the landing 
of French and English troops at the 
Greek port of Saloniki, which troops 
were to be used to aid Serbia. This 
use of a Greek port was a clear viola- 
tion of Greek neutrality and the Greek 
government entered a formal protest. 
It was understood on all sides that this 
protest was purely formal, and the 



34 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



landing of troops continued. The resig- 
nation of M. Venizelos aroused some ap- 
prehension in France and England and 
pressure was brought to bear upon the 
new Premier, M. Zaimis,* to define his 
position. He stated that the attitude 
of Greece would be "neutrality, with 
the character of sincerest benevolence 
towards the Entente Powers." King 
Constantine, however, vigorously pro- 
tested against the violation of Greek 
territory by Great Britain and France. 
He maintained that it was the sheerest 
hypocrisy for these countries to pro- 
test against the violation of Belgian 
neutrality by the Germans, while they 
themselves were violating Greek neu- 
trality. He was strongly supported in 
these views by Stephanos Skouloudis, 
who succeeded Zaimis as Premier and 
who also took the portfolio of Foreign 
Affairs. 

The period of the premiership of 
Skouloudis was very stormy. The Al- 
lies seemed to fear that their Saloniki 
expedition was threatened from the rear 
by the Greek army. This fear of an 
attack compelled General Sarrail to 
keep a strong force on the Macedonian 
front. In order to remove this threat 
the Allies from time to time made de- 
mands on the Greek government which 
weakened the latter's military posi- 
tion. The Allies desired the use of the 
Peloponnesian railway to transport the 
regenerated Serbian army from Corfu 
to Saloniki. This was refused on the 
ground that it would be a violation of 
neutrality. After some hesitation the 
British Foreign Office announced that 
the troops would be transported by 
water. 

* Zaimis, Alexander. Born (1855) in Athens. 
Educated at universities of Athens, Leipsic, 
Berlin (Ph.D.), and Paris. Elected deputy 
(1885); Minister of Justice, (1890-93); presi- 
dent of Chamber of Deputies (1895-97); Pre- 
mier (1897-99 and 1901-02). Brought about 
annexation of Island of Crete to Greece (1913). 



This demand was only a preliminary 
to those which were to follow. In June, 
1916, the Bulgarians crossed the Mace- 
donian frontier and seized several Greek 
forts. When war was not immediately 
declared on Bulgaria, the Allied Pow- 
ers demanded that the Greek army be 
demobilized. To enforce their demands, 
they blockaded the Greek ports and 
seized vessels and supplies in the har- 
bors. Martial law was declared in Sa- 
loniki and the Greek military com- 
mander was superseded by a French- 
man. The Greek government sent iden- 
tical notes of protest against interfer- 
ence with her trade by the Entente Pow- 
ers to the United States and to all the 
South American governments. Never- 
theless the result of the blockade was 
the demobilization of the 12 senior 
classes on June 9th. 

As soon as order was restored a new 
set of demands was made on the Greek 
government. Before they were officially 
received, however, the Skouloudis gov- 
ernment resigned. Former Premier 
Alexander Zaimis was again called upon 
to head the cabinet. The first act of 
his government was to accept uncondi- 
tionally the demands of the Allies, 
which included briefly, (1) demobiliza- 
tion of the rest of the Greek army, (2) 
replacing of the Skouloudis cabinet 
with a business cabinet favorable to the 
Allies, (3) dissolution of the chamber 
and the holding of new elections, and, 
(4) replacement of certain police func- 
tionaries who had permitted insults 
against the Allied legations. Upon the 
acceptance of these demands the Allied 
blockade was withdrawn. 

During this period of national un- 
rest there was gradually springing up 
a strong anti-German party. The seiz- 
ure of the garrison at Kavala by the 
Bulgarians, the abandonment of the 
Macedonian forts without a struggle 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



35 



and the entrance of Rumania into the 
war, brought the move to a head. A 
Committee of National Defense was es- 
tablished by those who were opposed to 
the supine attitude of the Greek gov- 
ernment. It set up a provisional form 
of government for Macedonia and de- 
manded that the Bulgarians be driven 
out. In order to aid this movement to 
succeed the Allies took an active part 
in it. They seized enemy merchant- 
men in the Piraeus, the port of Athens. 
They also demanded and received all 
Greek ports and the use of the tele- 
graph system. On account of inabil- 
ity to handle the situation the Zaimis 
ministry resigned. 

The pro-Ally movement reached its 
height when a formidable revolution 
broke out in Crete during the third 
week in September. Venizelos immedi- 
ately left Athens with a number of sup- 
porters for the seat of the revolution. 
One of his chief followers was Admiral 
Coudouriotis, whose desertion of the 
King left the latter in a very serious 
predicament. A proclamation estab- 
lishing a provisional government was 
issued by Venizelos and Admiral Cou- 
douriotis, and within a very short time 
Macedonia and all of the Greek islands 
were under their control. The provi- 
sional government declared war on Ger- 
many and Bulgaria on Nov. 25, 1916. 

The Allies heartily approved the new 
Venizelos government and proceeded to 
make further demands on the new Greek 
government, headed by Spyridon Lam- 
bros. The new demands included the 
turning over to the Allies of the Greek 
navy, certain strategical railways, 
forts, mails, telegraphs, police service, 
naval material and the Piraeus. They 
further demanded that any Greek who 
so desired be permitted to join the new 
government. All these demands were 
acceded to as a result of necessity. 



Apparently still fearing an attack in 
their rear, the Allies demanded that all 
the arms and munitions belonging to 
the Greek army and navy be turned 
over to them. The Greek government 
was given until Dec. 1, 1916, to grant 
this last request. King Constantine re- 
fused to agree, marines were landed 
from the Allied fleet, and a scene simi- 
lar to the days of the French Revolu- 
tion occurred in Athens. True to his 
promise, Vice Admiral du Fournet fired 
upon royalist troops, when the time of 
his ultimatum expired. Thereupon a 
regular civil war broke out in Athens. 
Royalist troops fired upon Venizelists 
and vice versa. As a result of a truce 
King Constantine agreed to surrender 
all the mountain guns of the Greek 
army. When this was accomplished all 
the Allied marines were withdrawn to 
the fleet with the exception of a small 
guard. 

The Entente nations continued to 
exert a political and economic pressure 
upon the Greek government. King Con- 
stantine adopted a passive attitude of 
submission to the demands of the Allies 
and determined to rely on the ultimate 
recognition by the world that his treat- 
ment had been unjust. The long con- 
flict between King Constantine and the 
Entente came to an end on June 12, 
1917, when the King abdicated in favor 
of his second son Alexander. This step 
was taken at the dictation of the Allies, 
who decided, after investigation, that 
the King and his elder son George were 
strongly pro-German. Zaimis, the 
prime minister, resigned and was suc- 
ceeded by Venizelos, the staunch friend 
of the Entente. One of the first acts of 
the new ministry was to declare war on 
Bulgaria and Germany (July 2). Al- 
lied control was withdrawn with the ex- 
ception of that over telegraphs and 
press censorship. Immediate steps 



36 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



were taken to actively join the Entente 
army around Saloniki. This removed 
the continual threat of an attack by 
Greek forces in the rear of General 
Sarrail's army. See Southeastern 
Theatre, 

Rumania. — Somewhat the same di- 
vision of sentiment obtained in Rumania 
as in Greece at the outbreak of the 
European War. The King, Charles I, 
was a member of the Hohenzollern fam- 
ily, and it was rumored that there was 
a secret treaty between Rumania, Ger- 
many, and Austria-Hungary. The 
mass of the Rumanian population is 
composed of illiterate peasants, but 
among the educated classes there was 
a strong pro-French and especially pro- 
Italian sentiment. The Rumanians 
claim descent from Roman colonists ; 
and there has always been a strong sen- 
timental attachment to Italy among the 
Rumanians. Apart from conflicting 
sentimental influences, the question of 
the wisest policy for Rumania to pur- 
sue to advance her material interests 
was not easy to determine. On the one 
hand a large Rumanian population was 
included in the Austrian dominions in 
Transylvania, while on the other hand 
the Russian province of Bessarabia was 
equally Rumanian in nationality and 
more valuable economically than Tran- 
sylvania. 

At the head of the Rumanian minis- 
try was John Bratianu, one of the 
shrewdest statesmen in the Balkans. He 
advocated a policy of w r aiting, with the 
intention of entering the war at the 
proper time when the greatest reward 
could be obtained by the least fighting. 
The death of King Charles in October, 
1914, and the entrance of Italy into the 
war, were expected to influence Ru- 
mania to join forces with the Entente 
allies. But the failure of the Russian 
campaign in Galicia and Bulgaria's 



alliance with the Teutonic Powers 
caused Rumania to continue her policy 
of watchful waiting. 

She continued this policy until April 
28, 1916, when the Rumanian minister 
at Vienna presented a note to the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian Foreign Minister which 
said that Rumania considered herself 
at war with Austria-Hungary since nine 
o'clock the previous evening. She 
maintained that her treaties with the 
Central Powers had been continually 
broken since the war began and that 
Rumanians in Austria-Hungary were 
being persecuted. She intervened to 
prevent these persecutions, to shorten 
the war if possible, and to realize her 
national ideal. She thought an alli- 
ance with the Entente allies would best 
enable her to accomplish the last pur- 
pose. 

Portugal. Portugal was bound by a 
treaty of alliance with Great Britain, 
and at the outbreak of the European 
War Portugal stated that she was pre- 
pared to carry out her treaty obliga- 
tions whenever Great Britain desired 
her to do so. However, Portugal did 
not enter the war until more than a 
year after the beginning of hostilities, 
although there were clashes between 
Portuguese and German troops in Af- 
rica. On Feb. 24, 1916, at the request 
of Great Britain, Portugal seized a 
number of German and Austrian ships 
lying in Portuguese harbors. On 
March 8, 1916, Germany declared war 
on Portugal, stating that the seizure of 
German vessels was done at the dicta- 
tion of Great Britain, and could be re- 
garded in no other light than as a hos- 
tile move against Germany. 

Czecho-Slovakia. This is the name 
of a new nation which was born as a 
result of the war. It comprises the 
former Austrian states of Bohemia, 
Moravia, part of Silesia, and the dis- 



OUTBREAK OF THE WAR 



37 



trict of Hungary known as Slovakia. 
It has a population of about 13 mil- 
lions with an area of 52,000 square 
miles. The natural wealth is estimated 
at 15 billions of dollars. Its declara- 
tion of independence was published at 
Paris October 18, 1918; the local gov- 
ernment was taken over in Prague Oc- 
tober 28, 1918, and the republic for- 
mally proclaimed the next day. The 
republic had maintained four armies, 
one in Bohemia, one in France, one in 
Italy, and a force of approximately 
75,000 men operating in Russia and 
Siberia partially at the request of the 
Allied governments. The first presi- 
dent of the republic was Thomas Gar- 
rigue Masaryk, who was also one of the 
chief leaders in the movement for an 
independent Czecho-Slovakia. 

In the first part of August, 1918, the 
British government formally recognized 
the Czecho-Slovaks as an Allied nation. 
The Italian and French governments 
had made special agreements with the 
Czecho-Slovak National Council in re- 
gard to the Czecho-Slovak army which 
had been formed in each of those coun- 
tries {see below). The British govern- 
ment definitely recognized the unity of 
that army and said that in considera- 
tion of their efforts to achieve inde^ 
pendence, Great Britain regarded the 
Czecho-Slovak armies as constituting 
an Allied and pledged army waging 
regular warfare against Austria-Hun- 
gary and Germany. It also recognized 
the Czecho-Slovak National Council as 
the representative of the future gov- 
ernment. At the beginning of Sep- 
tember the United States government 
also recognized the Czecho-Slovak Na- 
tional Council as a belligerent govern- 
ment clothed with proper authority and 
recognized the state of war between 
the Czecho-Slovaks and the German and 
Austro-Hungarian empires. At this 



time the Czecho-Slovak forces were in 
the neighborhood of Chita and the com- 
posite Allied force was advancing in 
the Ussuri Province from Vladivostok. 
For an account of their military cam- 
paigns see Military Operations, 
Eastern Front. 

For the purposes of convenience the 
following dates of the declaration of 
war are given: 

CENTRAL POWERS 

Austria against Serbia — July 28, 1914. 
Austria against Russia — August 6, 1914. 
Austria against Montenegro — August 9, 1914. 
Austria against Japan — August 27, 1914. 
Austria against Belgium — August 28. 1914. 
Bulgaria against Serbia — October 14, 1915. 
Germany against Russia — August 1, 1914. 
Germany against France — August 3, 1914. 
Germany against Belgium — August 4, 1914. 
Germany against Portugal — March 9, 1916. 
Germany against Rumania — September 14, 

1916. ' 
Turkey against the Allies — November 23, 1914. 
Turkey against Rumania — August 29, 1916. 

ENTENTE ALLIES 

Brazil against Germany — October 26, 1917. 

China against Austria and Germany — August 
14, 1917. 

Costa Rica against Germany — May 24, 1918. 

Cuba against Germany — April 7, 1917. 

France against Germany — August 3, 1914. ' 

France against Austria — August 13, 1914. 

France against Turkey — November 5, 1914. 

France against Bulgaria — October 16, 1915. 

Great Britain against Germany — August 4, 
1914. 

Great Britain against Austria — August 13, 
1914. 

Great Britain against Turkey — November 5, 
1914. 

Great Britain against Bulgaria — October 15, 
1914. 

Greece (provisional government) against Ger- 
many and Bulgaria — November 28, 1916. 

Greece (Alexander's government) against Ger- 
many and Bulgaria — July 2, 1917. 

Guatemala against Germany — April 23, 1918. 

Hayti against Germany — July 15, 1918. 

Honduras against Germany — July 19, 1918. 

Italy against Austria — May 24, 1915. 

Italy against Turkey — August 21, 1915. 

Italy against Bulgaria — October 19, 1915. 

Italy against Germany — August 28, 1916. 

Japan against Germany — August 23, 1914. 



38 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Liberia against Germany — August 4, 1917. 

Montenegro against Germany — August 9, 1914. 

Nicaragua against Germany — May 7, 1918. 

Panama against Germany — April 7, 1917. 

Panama against Austria — December 10, 1917. 

Portugal against Germany — November 23, 1914. 
(Passed resolutions authorizing military in- 
terventions as treaty ally of Great Britain.) 

Portugal against Germany — May 19, 1915. 
(Military aid granted.) 

Rumania against Austria — August 27, 1916. 
(Allies of Austria also considered it a dec- 
laration against them.) 



Russia against Turkey — November 3, 1914. 
Russia against Bulgaria — October 19, 1915. 
San Marino against Austria — May 24, 1915. 
Serbia rgainst Germany — August 6, 1914. 
Serbia against Turkey — December 2, 1914. 
Serbia against Bulgaria — October 19, 1915. 
Siam against Germany and Austria — July 22, 

1917. 
The Hedjaz (Arabia) against Central Powers 

—June 9, 1916. 
United States against Germany — April 6, 1917. 
United States against Austria — December 7, 

1917. 



IV. MILITARY OPERATIONS 



The military operations of the great 
war, in which the Central Powers were 
by turns on the offensive and on the 
defensive, hinge on the plan of the 
German general staff according to 
which Austria, with a small German 
force, was to hold Russia in check, 
while Germany crushed France, both 
Central Powers uniting for the subse- 
quent Russian campaign. 

The strategy of the war from this 
viewpoint falls easily under the follow- 
ing main divisions : I, Introduction 
and discussion of mobilization and re- 
sources ; II, Western theatre, or cam- 
paign against France; III, Eastern 
theatre, or campaigns against Russia; 
IV, Southern theatre, or campaigns 
against Serbia (involving Bulgaria's 
entry into the war) and Italian cam- 
paign ; V, Southeastern theatre, or 
Turkish campaigns, including Suez, 
Gallipoli, and Caucasus. In no theatre 
of the war was the strategy unconnect- 
ed with events taking place or about to 
take place on other fronts. 

I. Introduction. The war that broke 
out in 1914 involved three continents 
and the seven seas. Not only its com- 
batants, but the killed and wounded, 
were to be numbered by millions. Every 
known resource of mechanical ingenuity 
was drawn upon, and old and forgotten 
methods of warfare were brought into 
play side by side with the most power- 
ful modern artillery, while aeronautics 
for the first time had occasion to show 
its worth. (See section Aerial Opera- 
tions.) The edifice of international 
law, of the conventions of warfare, so 
painfully built up after centuries of 



struggle, was toppled over as a thing 
of no account. With these considera- 
tions before us we must remark that in 
the space here available nothing but a 
statement of the principal facts can be 
attempted. But even so, the nature 
of the struggle on one front, the west- 
ern, calls for a word or two. When 
both sides simultaneously reached the 
sea there began a siege over the whole 
front that gave the struggle in this 
theatre a character unique in military 
history. At certain places in the "line" 
32 parallel lines of German trenches 
were discovered by reconnoissance. The 
trench systems of this front were esti- 
mated, after including communication 
trenches, to be 25,000 miles long. 
Frontal attack became a necessity, 
since flanks there were none, and yet 
these attacks all proved failures, for 
the experience gained under the new 
conditions had not as yet led to such a 
disposition of forces and resources as 
to carry them through to a decision. 
The most desperate efforts were made, 
first by one and then by the other side, 
to raise the siege, so to say, by a con- 
centration at some selected point, and 
thus break through and end a situa- 
tion that only a few years ago would 
have been deemed intolerable. 

The war was finally won as a result 
of a series of brilliant flank attacks 
after the failure of major German 
frontal attacks. 

On the other fronts the phenomena 
of what may well now be called old- 
fashioned warfare were more or less 
reproduced, but even in their case a 
marked tendency to approximate to the 



39 



40 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



conditions in France manifested itself 
— indeed may be said to have estab- 
lished itself on a part of the Russian 
lines and to a certain extent on the 
Italian. A marked feature of this war 
was the so-called mobilization of in- 
dustries. So great was the draft made 
on the industrial resources of the coun- 
tries involved that the struggle, other 
conditions equal, may be said to have 
resolved itself into a competition by 
each side to outstrip the other in sup- 
plies and munitions. 

Mobilization and Concentration. 
When it became evident that the gen- 
eral European situation was becoming 
more and more serious, covering troops 
{troupes de couierture) were sent by 
the French government to the eastern 
frontier. These troops, five corps in 
all, or 200,000 men, with cavalry, began 
their movement on July 31 at 9 p. m., 
and had completed it on August 3 at 
noon. They were not to cross a zone 
8 kilometers wide along the frontier, in 
order to prevent any clash with the 
Germans, so long as war was unde- 
clared. On the German side the Em- 
peror, on July 31, decreed the Kriegs- 
gefahrzustand, or a sort of state of 
martial law, under which certain mili- 
tary measures could be adopted on the 
frontier, and the telegraph and railway 
services taken over by the military au- 
thorities. 

Mobilization proper, however, began 
in both Germany and in France on 
August 2, in France at midnight. It 
was asserted that in Germany the op- 
eration was set afoot well before the 
formal date given above. In both coun- 
tries it was carried on with the preci- 
sion that the whole world had learned 
to expect of Germany, but of which, as 
regards France, it was somewhat doubt- 
ful. The purpose of mobilization, it 
may be recalled here, is to pass from 



peace to war footing. Each man liable 
to service reports on a given date at a 
specified point, draws his arms, uni- 
form, and equipment, and joins a 
designated organization. Companies, 
battalions, regiments, etc., are thus 
brought up to war strength; transport 
material is requisitioned and train ser- 
vice prepared. The French mobiliza- 
tion, in two periods of ten and six days 
respectively, closed on August 18; the 
German, according to the French, on 
the 16th. German authorities, how- 
ever, give the closing date as the 20th. 
Mobilization was followed by concen- 
tration. 

The French armies began their con- 
centration in the east of France from 
Belfort to the Belgian frontier, thus 
respecting the neutrality of Belgium 
and of Luxemburg. By this course the 
French, incidentally, gave the Germans 
choice of ground and freedom of man- 
oeuvre. It should be recollected, how- 
ever, that the exact intentions of the 
German general staff were unknown; 
they might attack either on the right or 
the left bank of the Meuse, or attempt 
a demonstration by the Oise, or even 
risk a break from Nancy on to Verdun. 
Further, the possibility of the offensive 
had. to be kept in view, and the offen- 
sive, for the French, was possible only 
in Alsace and Lorraine. In other 
words, the concentration of the French 
w r as both offensive and defensive ; while 
guarding the approaches on the east, 
they would be ready to face in any di- 
rection. As a matter of fact, the plan 
of concentration could not be fully car- 
ried out ; it had to be modified because 
of the German advance through Bel- 
gium. Hence, in general terms, the 
French armies were stretched out from 
Belfort north and then northwest 
towards the Sambre, to join hands, if 
possible, with the English and Belgians. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



41 



Certain corps even pushed their way 
into Belgium itself. 

The German problem of concentra- 
tion was simpler, if, as there is reason 
to believe, their intention from the first 
was to smash their way through Bel- 
gium. They contented themselves with 
merely observing the strong eastern 
(French) frontier, and disposed their 
other armies northward through Treves, 
etc., to Aix-la-Chapelle, in position to 
inaugurate and carry through a vast 
sweeping movement through Belgium. 
They crossed the frontier of this coun- 
try without waiting for either mobiliza- 
tion or concentration, using for this 
purpose troops kept immediately avail- 
able near the frontier. 

On the periods of mobilization and 
concentration of the other combatants 
it is not necessary to dwell. In Aus- 
tria-Hungary the operation was merely 
a repetition of the German process, 
and, like that, carried out with prompt- 
ness and accuracy. Russia was ex- 
pected to be slow, but on the contrary 
was so energetic as to suggest a belief 
that she began before the formal dec- 
laration of war. England had no army 
to mobilize, but she prepared her "ex- 
peditionary force," crossed it over to 
the Continent, and got into position op- 
posite the German right in time to 
offer a resistance that was invaluable 
to the Allied cause. 

General Strategy and Resources. 
The War of the Nations originated as 
a struggle on the part of Austria-Hun- 
gary and Germany against the "Slavic 
Peril" — against the huge Slav empire 
of Russia and the small Slav kingdoms 
of Serbia and Montenegro. But from 
the very beginning of the conflict, de- 
fense against Russia was of minor in- 
terest as compared with the attack on 
Belgium, Britain, and France. The 
reason was quite simple. The German 



General Staff * had planned, so said 
the military experts, that the bulk of 
the German army should be hurled first 
against France, and then, having 
crushed France, be transferred to the 
east to turn back the tide of Russia's 
slow-mobilizing multitudes. For Rus- 
sia, with all her 171 millions of inhabi- 
tants in Europe and in Asia, was spread 
over so vast an area, and was so defi- 
cient in railways that 10 of her 36 army 
corps (an army corps may be counted 
as 50,000 men) could not be expected 
to arrive on the scene in the first month, 
and the remaining 26 could not begin 
a serious attack within the first few 
weeks of the war. Germany could 
leave 5 of her 25 army corps to coop- 
erate with 12 Austrian corps in hold- 
ing back the Russian advance guard, 
while 2 Austrian corps "punished" 
Serbia, and the remaining 2 Austrian 
and 19 German corps crushed France. 
The German armies in the west would 
isweep across Belgium — with its net- 
work of convenient railways and smooth 
highways — turning the flank of the 
strong line of French fortifications 
along the Franco-German frontier, and 
swoop down upon Paris with irresistible 
might. The French army annihilated, 
the German troops could be shifted 
from the west to the east (it is only a 
little more than 500 miles from Bel- 
gium to Russia, that is, twice the dis- 

* At the outbreak of the war, the Chief of the 
German General Staff was Helmuth von 
Moltke, who was born in Mecklenburg- 
Schwerin in 1848, served in the Franco-Prus- 
sian War of 1870-1871, was attached to the 
General Staff as adjutant under his famous 
uncle, Field Marshal von Moltke, and was ap- 
pointed Chief of the General Staff and general 
of infantry in 1906. During the course of 
the War of the Nations, he was superseded in 
chief command of the German forces by 
General Erich von Falkenhayn, who was 
born at Burg Belchau in 1861, served in China 
several years, acted as chief of staff of the 
16th, and later of the 4th Army Corps, and 
was appointed minister of war in 1913. 



42 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



tance from Albany to Buffalo) and 
reserves could be brought up to defeat 
the advancing Russians. The attack 
on France and Belgium, however, met 
with such fierce resistance that al- 
though 13 reserve corps were sent into 
France on the heels of 21 active corps, 
in August, followed by 4 substitute re- 
serve corps at the end of August, 8 
Landwehr corps in September, and 5 
semi-corps of reserves in October, in 
addition to 10 cavalry divisions, the 
German forces in France and Belgium 
had to fall back after their first swift 
stroke and could then do little more 
than hold a long intrenched battle line 
against the enemy. This delay in the 
west ffave the dreaded "Russian hordes" 
time to mass in Poland for an invasion 
of Austria-Hungary and Germany. 
The Austro-Hungarian armies, more- 
over, began to show alarming weakness, 
and were unable either to conquer the 
Serbs in the south or to hold back the 
Russians in the north of the Hapsburg 
Empire. Germany was now compelled 
to fight the war on two fronts, shifting 
her troops back and forth as occasion 
required, and finding her magnificent 
strategic railways of incalculable value. 
Skillful distribution of forces, able gen- 
eralship, and superior equipment en- 
abled the Germans, with Austrian as- 
sistance, to hold back the Russian in- 
vaders, and even to take up an advance 
position in Russian Poland. After five 
months of the war, Germany was cer- 
tainly holding her own. Most of Bel- 
gium, Northeastern France, and part 
of Russian Poland were occupied by 
German troops, whereas only a small 
corner of Alsace and a bit of East 
Prussia had been lost to French or 
Russians. The prospect of ultimate 
victory for the German arms was, how- 
ever, becoming rather uncertain. To 
be sure, the danger of a Russian "tidal 



wave" sweeping over Germany from the 
east was no longer feared ; but in a long 
war, where endurance rather than speed 
of mobilization wins the victory, Ger- 
many would labor under great difficul- 
ties. Germany, with a total population 
of 65,000,000, Austria-Hungary with 
less than 50,000,000, and later Turkey 
with about 21,000,000 and Bulgaria 
with 5,000,000, aggregating 141,- 
000,000, were confronted by a coali- 
tion representing 252,000,000 of Euro- 
peans, not to speak of Russia's 
20,000,000 in Siberia and the vast 
transmaritime empires of Great Britain 
and France and later the 110,000,000 
inhabitants of the United States. Ac- 
cording to the best information ob- 
tainable, Germany had placed between 
4 and 5 million men in the field by the 
end of 1914, that is, for every 16 Ger- 
mans there was 1 soldier. Germany still 
had second-rate fighting men and fresh- 
ly matured 3 T ouths to call upon, but ob- 
viously the number was limited. France 
likewise was limited ; an army of 5,000,- 
000 would be one-eighth the population. 
But Russia boasted, in addition to 5^- 
000,000 trained warriors, a reserve of 
population which could furnish 5,- 
000,000 more if they could be mus- 
tered, trained, and equipped. Great 
Britain, with a population of over 45,- 
000,000 to draw upon, was already 
drilling 1,000,000 or more recruits to 
take part in the battles of France. 
From the 15,000,000 white inhabitants 
of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and 
South Africa, 100,000 or more sol- 
diers might be sent to the battlefields 
of western Europe. The contingents 
of "native" soldiers brought from Af- 
rica by Great Britain and France, and 
the British Indians, were picturesque, 
but hardly numerous enough to exert 
an appreciable influence on the final 
issue. In short, the allies appeared to 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



43 



possess superior resources of men and 
munitions for the conduct of a pro- 
tracted war. If joined by Italy, or by 
one of the Balkan States, the Allies 
would enjoy a still more marked ad- 
vantage. Or again, if Austria-Hun- 
gary should be rent by internal dissen- 
sions, Germany would be left to fight 
against overwhelming odds. On the 
other hand, one of the Allies might con- 
ceivably refuse to make further sacri- 
fices, and either make peace or carry 
on the war in a half-hearted fashion. 
Or German generalship might win a 
brilliant victory and destroy part of 
the Allied army. Into any forecast to 
the war's outcome, these and similar 
considerations were bound to inject a 
considerable amount of uncertainty. 
The possibility that the Allies would 
capitulate separately, however, ap- 
peared very slight indeed after the 
agreement signed in London, September 
5, by Russia, France, and Great Brit- 
ain, binding themselves not to make 
terms with Germany until they could 
do so jointly. 

Equipment of the Armies. No less 
perfect than the organization of the 
enormous armies was the equipment 
with which they fought. The War of 
the Nations was a battle of machines, 
waged with the help of every deadly 
device science could invent. The fea- 
ture of the conflict in the Franco-Bel- 
gian theatre was the new Krupp 11-inch 
howitzer. (A "gun" throws its pro- 
jectile in almost a straight line; a 
"howitzer" discharges its shell at an 
angle of elevation varying from 15° to 
45°; a "mortar" is fired at a still 
greater angle of elevation, the object 
being to drop a shell on the top of a 
fortification or behind the earth-works 
of the enemy.) The new Krupp how- 
itzer, weighing nearly 40 tons, was 
hauled by powerful motors on two 



heavy motor trucks whose "caterpillar" 
wheels were shod with great flapping 
feet so as not to sink in soft ground. 
Arriving at the scene of action, two 
trucks were backed up together and 
the howitzer was ready to throw 11 -inch 
shells at any object within a radius of 
six miles. The heaviest portable 
French siege piece had been the 10.7- 
inch howitzer, drawn in four parts, and 
difficult to move, assemble, and mount. 
Still more formidable than the Krupp 
"11" was the Austrian 12-inch howit- 
zer, built at the Skoda works. But the 
surpassing achievement of the Krupp 
gun factory at Essen was the produc- 
tion of a 16-inch (42-centimeter) siege 
piece which could be transported by 
rail and readily emplaced on a concrete 
foundation. From this gun, discharged 
by electricity, a shell one meter in 
length, weighing almost a ton, and filled 
with high explosive, could be hurled 
some 15 miles. Skilled mechanics from 
the Essen works accompanied each of 
the 7 or 8 of these 16-inch pieces which 
Germany was said to have put in the 
field. Two of these gigantic howitzers, 
stationed 10 miles from the inner forts 
of Antwerp, rendered the elaborate de- 
fenses of that city worthless. Even the 
smaller German howitzers were capable 
of demolishing the forts at Liege and 
Namur and wrecking the steel-domed 
cupolas which had been the pride of 
Belgium's forts. In the field, much 
smaller guns were ordinarily used. The 
German army employed a 3-inch gun 
capable of throwing 20 15-pound shells 
per minute at an enemy three miles 
away. The shell was timed to explode 
just before striking, and would scatter 
250 steel bullets in the ranks of the 
enemy. Gun and carriage together 
weighed about a ton. Aeroplanes, 
whose value in warfare had long been 
discussed, now rendered service in lo- 



44 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



eating the enemy, so that the artillery 
officers could instruct their gunners at 
what angle to fire at the unseen enemy. 
The French field gun was of slightly 
smaller bore than the German, but of 
greater power and weight. Machine 
guns or mitrailleuses were also used 
with telling effect. A machine gun is 
light enough to be packed on the back 
of a horse or drawn on a light carriage 
by a pair of dogs (as in the Belgian 
army) and even by the individual sol- 
dier ; it fires from 400 to 500 ordinary 
rifle bullets per minute. The regular 
arm of the infantry was the rifle, tipped 
with the bayonet -for hand-to-hand en- 
counters. England used the excellent 
Lee-Enfield rifle, France the Lebel, Rus- 
sia the Nagant, Belgium the Mauser, 
Germany the Mauser, and Austria the 
Mannlicher; of these various makes, 
the German Mauser possessed the 
greatest muzzle velocity, although the 
French had the longest effective range. 
Almost as important as artillery or 
fire-arms was the automobile. Motor 
cars encased in steel and armed with 
rapid-fire guns accompanied Von 
Kluck's cavalry on its swift advance. 
Speedy automobiles and motorcycles 
were invaluable for reconnoissance and 
communication where telephone, wire- 
less telegraph, or aeroplane was not 
available. Monster searchlights 

mounted on motor cars illuminated the 
field of battle by night. The greatest 
service of the motor, however, was be- 
hind the firing lines. An army cannot 
fight unless it is fed. To feed the mil- 
lions of fighting men, many thousands 
of motor trucks were ceaselessly em- 
ployed in conveying incalculable quan- 
tities of foodstuffs. Finally, some of 
the most brilliant successes of the Ger- 
mans were won by hurrying troops in 
motor trucks to the most effective point 
on the battle line. Other new devices 



invented and used during the war will 
be treated in the subsequent military 
history. 

II. Western Theatre. The German 
armies, by a surprise thrust through 
Belgium in August, 1914, sought to 
paralyze the French army. This op- 
eration failed at the Marne (Septem- 
ber). 

Trench warfare resulted in the West, 
and from the North Sea to the Swiss 
border the line remained substantially 
unchanged to July, 1916, the battle of 
Verdun and the joint Allied offensive 
(July, 1916) forming the high-water 
marks of this fighting until the cam- 
paigns carried out on a grand scale in 
1918. 

The detailed account of military op- 
erations on this front has seven main 
steps: (1) The fortunes of the Belgian 
army up to its escape from Antwerp 
and safe retreat to the Yser Canal; (2) 
The relative dispositions of the rival 
armies of the French and German high 
commands up to and including the 
battle of the Marne; (3) The race to 
the seacoast which resulted in the es- 
tablishment of the intrenched lines from 
Dixmude to Belfort ; (4) The attempts 
of either side to break the intrenched 
line, including the battles of Ypres, 
Lille, Lens, and the Champagne drive 
inaugurated by Joff re to aid the hardly 
pressed Russians; (5) The battle for 
Verdun, in which the Germans sought 
a decision hoping not so much to shat- 
ter the French line as to shatter the 
morale of the French people and make 
a breach in Allied solidarity; (6) The 
Allied offensive in Picardy, in conjunc- 
tion with the Russian and Italian ac- 
tivities in the East and South. (7) 
The final attempt made by the Ger- 
mans to break through in 1918 and the 
successful Allied counter attack. It 
seems clear that Germany's plan of ac- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



45 



tion was first to crush France and then 
to fall upon Russia. What was the 
shortest road to France? The frontier 
was heavily fortified; but even other- 
wise it would have left too narrow a 
front for the overwhelming armies 
which Germany intended to set in the 
field. Hence the shortest road lay 
through Luxemburg and Belgium. Of 
natural obstacles there were none; the 
three fortresses, Liege, Namur, and 
Maubeuge, were not in supporting re- 
lation to one another, the Belgian fron- 
tier was only 120 miles from Paris, and 
the way lay through the easy valleys 
of the Oise and of the Meuse. 

Accordingly the Germans, violat- 
ing the neutrality of Luxemburg and 
Belgium, undertook a vast sweeping 
movement, with its pivot at Mont 
Donon and its marching flank flung be- 
yond the Sambre and the Oise. The 
French, on the other hand, respecting 
the neutrality of the countries just 
mentioned, had planned to attack the 
Franco-German frontier directly, under 
the following distribution of armies: 
first army (Dubail) * from the Swiss 
frontier to Donon; second (de Castel- 
nau) f from Donon towards Metz; 
third (Ruffey) in the Woevre, facing 
the Metz-Thionville frontier region ; 

* Augustin Yvon Edmond Dubail, born 
(1851) at Belfort; educated at Saint-Cyr, 
served in Franco-Prussian War, and later at- 
tended the Ecole de Guerre; general of brigade 
(1904); at Saint-Cyr was adjunct professor of 
geography (1874-76) and of military art and 
history (1880-85) and then commandant; wrote 
on his specialties; Commander of the Legion 
of Honor and possessor of various decorations; 
Military Governor of Paris during European 
War. 

f Edottard de Curieres de Castelnau, born 
in 1851; served in Franco-Prussian War; col- 
onel attached to general staff (1896); served 
in Cochin-China and Algeria; commander of 
"Iron Division" at Nancy (1899); early in Eu- 
ropean War commanded Second Army of Lor- 
raine and came to be known as the "savior of 
Nancy"; after battle of the Marne took com- 
mand of the Army of the Somme; chief of the 
general staff (December, 1915); went to Greece 
and helped plan defenses of Saloniki. 



fourth and fifth (Langle de Cary and 
Lanrezac) on the Belgian frontier. 

Germany placed in line the following 
armies: first (Von Kluck) the march- 
ing flank; second (Von Biilow) ; third 
(Von Hausen) ; fourth (Duke of Wiirt- 
temberg) ; j fifth (Crown Prince of 
Prussia) ; sixth (Rupprecht, Crown 
Prince of Bavaria) ; § seventh (Von 
Heeringen) ; eighth (Von Deimling), 
to remain on the defensive in Alsace. 
What may be counted as a ninth army, 
under Von Emmich, made up of ele- 
ments in immediate readiness, was to 
act as advance guard to the right wing, 
and carry Liege, on the expiration of 
the ultimatum addressed to the Belgian 
government. 

As has been implied, Belgium declined 
to agree to the demand made by Ger- 
many to allow German troops to cross 
Belgian territory to the French fron- 
tier. August 3 and 4, all doubt as to 
German intentions having been re- 
moved, the Belgian authorities ordered 
bridges destroyed on all probable lines 
of advance, and the Belgian forces to 
move forward as follows : the first di- 
vision from Ghent to Tirlemont; the 
second, Antwerp to Louvain ; the fifth, 

t Albrecht, Duke of Wiirttemberg, born 
(1865) in Vienna, son of Duke Philip of 
Wiirttemberg and heir presumptive to the 
throne of the Kingdom; married (1893) the 
Archduchess Margareta Sophia of Austria; 
held commands in regiments of Uhlans, Grena- 
diers, Dragoons, cavalry, and infantry, rising 
to be general in command of the Thirteenth 
Army Corps; in command of German forces 
in Belgium (October, 1914) after its invasion 
and temporarily took over command of Crown 
Prince's army (February, 1916); received 
Order Pour le Merite from the Kaiser. 

§ Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, born 
(1869) in Munich, eldest son of Ludwig 
(Louis) III, who became King in 1913; mar- 
ried the Duchess Marie Gabriele of Bavaria 
(1900); had a university education and mili- 
tary training in the Kriegsakademie; traveled 
extensively in India, Japan, China, etc. (1902- 
03); general, commanding the First Army 
Corps (1906); led Bavarian army in Euro- 
pean War and received from the Kaiser the 
Order Pour le Merite. 



46 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Mons to Perwez; the sixth, Brussels to 
Wavre. The fourth was to remain at 
Naraur, and the third in its position, 
Hasselt-Liege-Verviers. These move- 
ments were covered by the cavalry di- 
vision (Waremme), by a mixed brigade 
at Tongres, and by another at Huy. 
The strength of this army was about 
117,000 men, increased later by 18,500 
volunteers, with the King in command. 
It was, if opposed by superior numbers, 
to hold good defensive positions barring 
the enemy's advance, and to await in 
these positions the arrival of troops 
from the British and French armies. 
But if this junction were impossible, 
then the Belgian army was not to run 
the risk of severe loss, but was to guard 
against being enveloped, and act so 
as to secure its communications, for 
the purpose ultimately of joining hands 
with the Allies. Opposed by equal num- 
bers, it was to attack, if conditions were 
favorable. In any case, Liege, Namur, 
and Antwerp were to be defended. 

Invasion of Belgium. — On August 4 
two cavalry divisions crossed the fron- 
tier, advanced upon Vise, and there 
found the bridge destroyed. Behind the 
cavalry forces came an army composed 
of the seventh, eighth, ninth, and elev- 
enth corps. At the same time two 
other corps were concentrated at and 
near St. Vith — thus making a force of 
about 300,000 men on the roads lead- 
ing into Belgium and converging on 
Liege. On the 5th a demand was made 
on the governor of the fortress of Liege, 
General Leman, to allow an unopposed 
passage to the German army. This de- 
mand refused, the forts east and north- 
east of the town were attacked, but the 
Germans were repulsed. On the night 
of August 5 and 6 an attempt was made 
to break the Belgian line between the 
Meuse and the Ourthe, and succeeded 
in forcing the troops between the in- 



tervals of the forts to fall back. The 
mobile troops of the defense were now 
withdrawn to join the main army, leav- 
ing their garrisons in the forts. On 
the 12th large calibre fire was opened 
on the forts of the right bank, and by 
the 17th the last one had fallen to the 
Germans. During this time the main 
Belgian army had taken up a position 
on the Gette. On the 12th this stream 
was forced at Hselen, but an attempt to 
pass on was repulsed. Fresh troops 
came up and threatened to turn the 
Belgian left ; on the south they occu- 
pied Tirlemont; on the 18th the Bel- 
gian position was critical. Hence but 
one course was open to the Belgians: 
they retired on the 18th at dusk to 
take a position on the left bank of the 
Dyle. But the Germans advanced so 
rapidly that the Belgians could not 
safely stop, and were forced instead to 
continue their way to Antwerp, which 
they reached on the 20th. The Ger- 
mans entered Louvain on the 10th, 
Brussels on the 20th, and crossed the 
French frontier on the 24th. 

Namur was taken under fire on the 
20th and 21st of August; on the 25th 
the last fort, Suarlee, fell. Here, as 
at Liege, heavy calibres were used. The 
commander of the 4th (Belgian) di- 
vision withdrew his forces on the night 
of the 23d and 24th of August, and 
succeeded 10 days later in entering Ant- 
werp. 

A new part now fell to the Belgian 
army. August 20 it had taken up a 
position resting on the forts of Antwerp 
with a detachment at Termonde. Its 
business now was to detain as large a 
force as possible, to take the offensive 
whenever an important engagement, 
took place elsewhere, and to attack in 
the neighborhood of Antwerp whenever 
there was any chance of success. Ac- 
cordingly a sortie was made August 25 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



47 



and 26 ; on September 4 a German force 
that had driven its garrison out of Ter- 
monde crossed the Scheldt, but on the 
appearance of Belgian forces on the left 
bank crossed back, leaving Termonde 
once more in Belgian hands. After this 
date all hostile efforts to cross the river 
were checked and the line of retreat to 
the west kept open. Other operations 
took place, as on September 9, when the 
Belgians got as far as Louvain and 
forced the recall of a division from 
France to Antwerp. One effect of these 
operations was to delay for two days 
the march southward of a German 
corps, at the time when the retreat from 
the Marne had begun. 

The fall of Antwerp was, however, 
only a question of time ; the siege began 
on September 28, and in a very short 
time it became clear that the place 
could no more resist the German ar- 
tillery than had Liege and Namur. A 
delicate question then presented itself: 
to hold Antwerp as long as possible 
without compromising the retreat. Day 
by day the Germans continued their 
work of demolishing the detached forts 
of the place and drew closer and closer. 
On October 5 Lierre was occupied and 
the river crossed below the town. On 
the 3d and 6th of October they tried 
without success to cross the Scheldt. 
Furthermore, in France, the German 
right was steadily approaching the sea ; 
if they could reach it before the Bel- 
gians had made good their retreat these 
latter might be entirely cut off. The 
better to secure this retreat Ghent was 
occupied on the 9th by the French and 
British (7th division). The retreat, 
however, began on the evening of the 
6th, and by the morning of the next day 
the entire Belgian army was across the 
river. The Germans had indeed crossed 
the Scheldt themselves, on the 6th at 
Schoonasrde, but were unable to inter- 



rupt the retreat. On October 10 Ant- 
werp capitulated, and on the 15th the 
Belgian army took its stand on the 
Yser, 82,000 strong. The subsequent 
fortunes of this army are bound up with 
those of the Franco-British forces on 
this front. 

Invasion of France. — When it be- 
came evident that France was to be in- 
vaded from Belgium, the 3d (French) 
army moved up (August 10) to 
Longwy, with the 4th army taking a 
position further west, and the 5th sta- 
tioning itself between the Sambre and 
the Meuse. General French (August 
23) stood between the Sambre and the 
Scheldt, on the line Conde-Binche, with 
so much of the British expeditionary 
force, two corps and a cavalry division, 
as had crossed to the Continent. The 
German armies that had concentrated 
on the line Aix-la-Chapelle-Malmedy- 
Treves-Metz-Strassburg now moved 
out, Von Kluck through Belgium, Von 
Bulow to the Sambre (Namur-Char- 
leroi) ; Von Hausen and the Duke of 
Wiirttemberg across the Ardennes on 
Dinant and Neufchateau. The Crown 
Prince crossed Luxemburg. The Crown 
Prince of Bavaria marched against de 
Castelnau and in this region the general 
action opened on August 20, with the 
driving back of de Castelnau (invasion 
of Lorraine), who, however, brought up 
firm before Nancy, September 7. As 
early as August 15 some French troops 
had crossed the Belgian frontier and 
had engaged the Germans in minor af- 
fairs (e.g., Dinant). On the 22d 
Charleroi was taken by the Germans, 
who on the 23d attacked the French at 
this place and the British at Mons. 
As the 3d and 4th (French) armies 
were compelled to withdraw before an 
attack coming from Belgian Luxem- 
burg, the right flank of the fifth army 
extending almost up to Namur was ex- 



48 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



posed, and that army withdrew. This 
in turn compelled the withdrawal of the 
English from Mons, and so the whole 
Allied army now retreated, vigorously 
pursued by the Germans, on the line 
Paris-Verdun. In spite of one or two 
checks suffered in the advance, as at 
Guise, it may be said that on the whole 
this movement was up to a certain point 
irresistible. That point was reached 
when the Allies turned on crossing the 
river Marne, and not only defeated the 
Germans, but forced them to retreat to 
the Aisne. The French generalissimo, 
Joffre, had constantly kept before him 
the plan of so turning in the retreat 
from the Belgian frontier, and had se- 
lected the line Paris-Marne-Verdun as 
the proper place, and Sept. 6, 1914, as 
the proper date. 

On Aug. 20, 1914, General Joffre * 
assumed command of the Allied armies 
in France. He had before him the in- 
finitely grave problem of developing 
suitable powers of resistance, mostly 
out of beaten and retreating armies, 
and of selecting the time, place, and 
manner of applying these powers, which 
he did at the Marne (to be described 
later). After that battle the Allied 
armies under his command successfully 
held off the Germans, thus upsetting 
their plans of crushing France before 
proceeding to conquests elsewhere. 

The Approach to Paris. — During the 
retreat two new armies had been 
formed: one under General Foch f (the 

* Joffre, Joseph Jacques Cesaire. Born 
(1852) in Rivesaltes, Pyrenees. Student of 
military engineering at Ecole Polytechnique. 
Entered active service (1870) in Franco-Prus- 
sian War after which returned to Polytechnique. 
Became captain (1874) ; fought in Tonkin 
(1883-84); in Dahomey (1893). Professor in 
Higher War School for a time and then pro- 
moted brigadier general of division. Became 
chief of general staff (1911). Helped pass 
the three years' military service law. 

f Ferdinand Foch, born (1851) at Tarbes, 
Hautes Pyrenees, of a Basque family; served 
in the Franco-Prussian War as a subaltern; 



ninth), which took position between 
d'Esperey's (formerly Lanrezac's) and 
Langle de Cary's ; and another (the 
sixth) under Manoury from Paris. This 
last army was to rest on the intrenched 
camp of the capital, face east on the 
right bank of the Ourcq, and attack 
Von Kluck's right. It is a sound prin- 
ciple of warfare that victory may be 
obtained only by beating the hostile 
army. When therefore the Allied 
armies passed into the Paris-Verdun 
gap, Von Kluck, sweeping down on 
Paris from the north, properly turned 
south-eastward after the enemy. But 
he had not reckoned upon the formation 
of the sixth army sent out from Paris, 
in motor vehicles of every description 
to take its place on the battle front. 
Before, however, taking up the Battle 
of the Marne, we must very briefly de- 
scribe what had in the meantime been 
taking place in eastern France ; the 
pressure in this quarter, indeed, cul- 
minated in conflicts contemporaneous 
with and forming a part of the great 
battle of September 6. Before the sud- 
den swerve of Von Kluck from Paris on 
September 4, it seemed as if the predic- 
tion that the Germans would be in Paris 
six weeks from the outbreak of war was 
about to be fulfilled. General Gallieni 
had begun to prepare the city for a 
siege. The noise of the battle could be 
heard by the Parisians. 

Events before the Marne. — After the 
declaration of war the French invaded 
both Alsace and Lorraine. These in- 
vasions came to grief. The French 
twice occupied Mulhausen ; the first time 

artillery captain at 26; professor of tactics in 
the Ecole de Guerre for five years and later, as 
general of brigade, its director; in command of 
various divisions before European War; during 
war commander of northern armies in France, 
gaining victories of the Marne and Ypres; 
known internationally as a strategist and au- 
thor of Principles of War and Conduct of War, 
published in French, English, Italian and Ger- 
man; received British G.C.B. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



49 



they were driven out, the second they 
retired of their own accord. They had 
also reached Saarburg and Saarbruck- 
en. These invasions undoubtedly had a 
political end in view, conditioned of 
course by the possibility of military 
success. Incidentally, the Alsace op- 
erations were to contain troops that 
otherwise might have been used to re- 
sist the invasion of Lorraine. This in- 
vasion opened well enough: the French 
occupied Dieuze, Morhange, Chateau- 
Salins, across the frontier. But it came 
to naught at Morhange, in which the 
French, completely beaten, were driven 
back across the frontier, and were 
forced to settle down to the real busi- 
ness of protecting their eastern fron- 
tier. The Germans, early in August, 
occupied Cirey, Badonviller, and Bac- 
carat. Farther north the army of Metz 
got to within 15 miles of Verdun. Still, 
farther north the army of the Crown 
Prince, which had on August 22 crossed 
the frontier near Longwy (occupied the 
27th), drove back the French, and 
finally took up a position between Bar- 
le-Duc and the Ardennes, facing east- 
ward, and opposed by General Sarrail's 
army. To the west of the Crown Prince 
the Duke of Wurttemberg, who had 
crossed the Meuse near Mezieres, 
formed up, facing south between the 
Crown Prince's army and Epernay. 
The first French army (Dubail) in 
front of Epinal faced the east; on its 
left General de Castelnau continued the 
line east and north of Nancy, along the 
Meuse, until it rested on the defenses of 
Verdun. The garrison of Verdun car- 
ried it on east, north, and west of the 
position until it joined with Sarrail's 
army. 

With the armies in these positions 
Nancy was attacked; its main natural 
defense in the chain of hills known as 
the Grand Couronne de Nancy. The 



Germans occupied various towns in the 
east, e.g., St. Die, but not without some 
heavy fighting in the Vosges. On the 
north they pushed the French back to 
the Grand Couronne, but never got be- 
yond it. The main army marched from 
Chateau-Salins and engaged the French 
in a series of stiff fights around the 
Forest of Champenoux. At the same 
time a part of the army of Metz, with 
its left resting on Pont-a-Mousson, 
joined in the attack. Six miles north- 
east of the city, on the plateau of 
Amance, de Castelnau had assembled 
his artillery. Before the troops from 
the north could cooperate with those 
from the east in attacking this position, 
Ste. Genevieve, 10 miles or so northwest 
of Amance, had to be occupied. Here 
Foch (August 22), with a modest force, 
defeated the Germans with fearful 
slaughter. The attack on Nancy from 
the east through Amance was equally 
unsuccessful. After much fighting 
along the entire position the bombard- 
ment of Amance began on August 30, 
31 and lasted for more than a week. 
The contest over the entire line in- 
creased in intensity; indeed, from the 
German point of view, it could do no 
less, for now (September 7-8) their 
armies were being pushed back from 
the Marne, and it was vital to their 
success that they should break through. 
The Emperor himself was present at 
the great assaults, six in number, made 
on Amance, and all driven back with 
loss. Checked before Nancy, the Ger- 
mans on September 10 evacuated Pont- 
a-Mousson, and on the 12th, Luneville, 
St. Die, and some smaller places. They 
now concentrated their efforts between 
Toul and Verdun, with the purpose of 
surrounding the latter place. To this 
end they bombarded Fort de Troyon on 
the Meuse south of Verdun and several 
times attempted to take it by assault. 



50 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



But the fort made an extremely gallant 
defense, and although almost reduced 
to extremities, managed to hold out. 
The final assault was delivered on the 
13th of September. On the 20th a 
fresh advance was made on the for- 
tresses from the east to cross the Meuse 
south of Verdun. The garrisons of 
Verdun and Toul respectively pushed 
out attacks on the German flanks, while 
the Germans themselves advanced in 
the centre and captured the point of 
St. Mihiel on the Meuse (September 
25). 

Grip on St. Mihiel. — The Germans 
crossed the river on the 26th and began 
to march northward towards the Aire 
valley. A situation was then developed 
that might have proved of the utmost 
consequence to the French. To meet 
it, Sarrail came down from the north, 
and the twentieth corps was hurried up 
from near Champenoux. At 5 p. m. 
of the 26th the advance guard of the 
corps, which had crossed at Lironville, 
got contact with the enemy. After 
some extremely heavy fighting the Ger- 
mans fell back to the Meuse and in- 
trenched at St. Mihiel, keeping their 
footing across the river at Camp des 
Romains. 

While these operations were taking 
place on the east and south, the other 
German armies had proceeded south- 
ward in pursuit of the retreating 
French and English (as related else- 
where). On September 6, the Crown 
Prince's army stretched from a point 
southwest of Verdun to the neighbor- 
hood of Bar-le-Duc. Verdun was thus 
almost completely surrounded. But 
the tide turned with the German defeat 
of the Marne; they retreated north- 
ward and divided right and left at the 
forest of Argonne. This rocky, hilly 
forested ridge, about 30 miles long 
north and south and 8 miles wide, then 



became the scene of incessant close 
fighting all through the autumn and 
winter. In the northern part of the 
Argonne Forest the Aire runs west to 
fall into the Aisne. This pass, called 
the Gap of Grand Pre, pierced as it 
was by a railway, would have been 
useful to the French, and so was one 
objective kept constantly in view by 
them in the operations of this region. 
These now took on the character that 
prevailed farther in the west, trench 
warfare, with the French pressing the 
Germans slowly back. Farther south 
there was much fighting on both sides 
of the St. Mihiel wedge, and in the 
Bois le Pretre to the eastward. 

In Alsace, after the second evacua- 
tion of Mulhausen, the French took up 
and held an intrenched position in front 
of Belfort from Thann to Moos until 
winter, when they fell back a little 
nearer to Belfort. Trench conditions 
developed here also, except that there 
were desperate struggles to take and 
hold Hartmannsweilerkopf, a mountain 
about 2900 feet high some miles to the 
north of Thann, which changed hands 
several times. Apart from various 
thrusts and points at German territory, 
the main purpose of the French was to 
cover the great position of Belfort. In 
this they succeeded. 

The Battle of the Marne. — Between 
the close of the retreat and the battle 
about to be described air reconnois- 
sances, etc., had revealed the fact that 
Von Kluck had changed direction to the 
southeast. The Battle of the Marne 
opened on Sunday, September 6. On 
the 3d the British had fallen back of 
that river and later had taken up a 
position behind the Seine. About this 
time (September 4) Joffre had resolved 
to take the offensive, wheeling up the 
left flank of the sixth army, pivoting it 
on the Marne, to move on the Ourcq. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



51 



The British were to fill the gap between 
the sixth and fifth French armies. Ger- 
man troops had been reported moving 
southeast along the left bank of the 
Ourcq on the 4th and were now halted 
and facing that river. Heads of 
columns were also seen crossing at 
Changis, La Ferte, Nogent, Chateau- 
Thierry, and Mezy. The Allies' line 
on the 6th reached from Ermenonville, 
in front of the left flank of the sixth 
army, through Lizy on the Marne, 
Mauperthuis, to Esternay and Charle- 
ville, the left of the ninth army under 
Foch, and so along the front of the 
ninth, fourth, and third French armies 
to a point north of Verdun. 

Recollecting, then, that the first and 
second French armies based on Belfort- 
Verdun were facing the German seventh 
and sixth, the French order of battle 
on September 6 was : the third army 
(Sarrail) Verdun-Bar-le-Duc, opposed 
by the German third (Crown Prince) ; 
the fourth (de Langle de Cary) across 
the plain of Champagne, south of Vitry- 
le-Francois, facing north, and opposed 
to the German fourth (Prince of Wiirt- 
temberg) ; the ninth (Foch) Mailly- 
Sezanne, opposed to the German second 
(Von Biilow); the fifth (d'Esperey) 
Esterney-Courtacon, with Conneau's 
cavalry on his left. The sixth army 
(Manoury) held a line north and south, 
with its right at Meaux and its left 
near Betz. The fifth and sixth armies 
were to engage Von Kluck. The gap 
between the fifth and sixth (French) 
armies was held by the British five divi- 
sions and five cavalry brigades, Ville- 
neuve-le-Comte to Jouy-le-Chateau. 

Von Kluck left two corps (II and 
IV) on the east bank of the Ourcq to 
hold the sixth army, while he proceeded 
with III, IV, and VII to Coulommiers, 
Rebais, and La Ferte Gaucher to at- 
tack the left and centre of the fifth 



(French) army. He had pushed for- 
ward two cavalry divisions towards 
Coulommiers and Crecy to give notice 
of any attack possibly coming from 
that quarter, and had occupied the 
villages on the west bank of the 
Ourcq. , :| 

The battle began at daylight Sep- 
tember 6 by the advance of the sixth 
army against the villages just men- 
tioned, and became general over the 
whole line from Paris to Verdun. In 
this struggle the British at once took 
a hand, and moving northeast, drove 
back Von Kluck's cavalry and advance 
guards. In the words of Sir John 
French, it must have been at about 
noon "that the enemy realized the pow- 
erful threat that was being made 
against the flank of his columns moving 
southeast." By night the British had 
reached the line Dagny-Coulommiers. 
This retreat of the Germans uncover- 
ing the west flank of the troops oper- 
ating against the fifth army forced 
these to withdraw and enabled the fifth 
to reach the Grand Morin between Es- 
ternay and La Ferte Gaucher. In the 
meantime the struggle further east had 
been most serious. Foch was heavily 
engaged with Von Biilow, and on his 
right with Von Hausen. On the whole, 
the centre had all it could do to hold 
its own, while the right even fell back a 
little. The day closed with the balance 
leaning a little in favor of the Germans, 
except on their left, when Von Kluck 
began to realize that he must look to 
his right as well as to his front. Sep- 
tember 7 was a day of desperate 
struggle, with the Allies progressing in 
the west, but not elsewhere. On the 
8th the German right was definitely 
turned, and began to retreat. On this 
day, d'Esperey carried Montmirail, 
and thus made an opening on Von 
Bulow's right. Into this opening Foch 



52 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



pushed his left, and he is reported to 
have discovered a gap between Von 
Biilow and Von Hausen, of which he 
also took advantage. The third and 
fourth armies on this same day held 
on only by the most devoted courage 
in face of the equally devoted attacks 
made upon them. September 9 saw the 
scale turn in favor of the Allies. The 
line of the Ourcq was taken ; French 
and d'Esperey joined hands at Cha- 
teau-Thierry in the evening. Foch 
drove a part of Von Bulow's right into 
the marshes of Saint-Gond and attacked 
his left with success, while the Saxons 
on Von Billow's left, after heavy losses, 
were pushed back towards Chalons. The 
third army still held. By the 10th 
there could be no doubt that the Allies 
had won a victory: the Germans re- 
treated, and in good order, to the Aisne, 
where they occupied a line said to have 
been prepared in advance. 

The Battle of the Marne must be re- 
garded as a significant defeat for the 
German army. Flushed with success, 
having the initiative, opposed to troops 
supposedly dispirited by defeat after 
defeat during a long and exhausting re- 
treat, the Germans found this check as 
unexpected as the French found it wel- 
come. On the French side moral forces 
were developed whose intensity con- 
tinued undiminished. The Germans, 
although not disabled, were neverthe- 
less compelled radically to change all 
their plans of operation. 

The German position on the Aisne 
extended from a point on the Heights 
of the Meuse north of Verdun, west 
across the Argonne country and the 
plain of Champagne to Rheims, north- 
west across the Aisne, west along the 
Heights of the Aisne to the Foret de 
PAigle, north of Compiegne. This po- 
sition was of great strength, carefully 
intrenched and thoroughly supplied. 



The Allied armies followed the Germans 
in their retreat. On the morning of the 
13th the British advanced, and in spite 
of the resistance of the Germans passed 
the Aisne on pontoon bridges, a re- 
markable military achievement. The 
Allied lines, September 21, reached 
from the extreme south of Alsace 
through St. Die, Luneville, Pont-a- 
Mousson, Consenvoye, Grande Pre, 
Souain, Craonne, Noyon, to Le Catelet. 
Strong German forces held St. Quen- 
tin. In the east the Germans had 
pushed their way along the promontory 
of Hatton Chatel towards St. Mihiel 
and were shelling the forts of Camp 
des Romains and des Parodies. On the 
26th they crossed the Meuse near St. 
Mihiel. Ypres was occupied on Octo- 
ber 14 by the British seventh division, 
which had assisted the withdrawal of 
the Allied troops from Antwerp. A 
period of deadlock now followed on the 
Aisne, during which each adversary 
made the most determined efforts to 
outflank the other on the west. 

From the Aisne to Flanders. — These 
efforts were logical for both sides. An 
attack on the German left, even if suc- 
cessful, would not interfere with their 
communications through northern 
France with Belgium and Germany. A 
frontal attack would have called for 
resources not then in the possession of 
the Allies. To turn their right, how- 
ever, might result in eutting some of 
the communications, might even save 
Antwerp. It would in any case assist 
the retreat of the Belgians and British 
from that city. Moreover, it was not 
impossible that the Germans might 
strike at Calais and Boulogne; it was 
not inconceivable that they might even 
push their way as far southwest as 
Abbeville. Accordingly about Septem- 
ber 20 an army was formed west of 
Compiegne, and its command given to 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



53 



de Castelnau, who was to fill the gap 
between the Oise and the Somme, and to 
push his lines north of the Somme; as 
objectives he had St. Quentin and La 
Fere. On the 21st de Castelnau's right 
had moved as far as Noyon ; there was 
violent fighting around Lassigny. From 
Lassigny the French right moved 
towards Roye, while their left momen- 
tarily occupied Peronne. The Germans 
in the meantime concentrated a large 
force in the region, formed in part of 
troops drawn from the centre on the 
Aisne, and from Lorraine and the 
Vosges. On the 25th the French near 
Noyon were pushed back on that day 
and the next two, and the whole line as 
far as the Vosges was engaged. De Cas- 
telnau was driven from Lassigny, but 
during the next few days managed to 
hold his own. There was now some dan- 
ger that the Germans would themselves 
outflank the French; to meet this pos- 
sibility a new army (tenth, Maud'huy) 
was formed. De Castelnau was now 
merely to hold his position. Maud'huy's 
line ran from the Ancre through Arras 
and Lens to Lille, and his plan would be 
to move on Valenciennes. The Germans, 
who were in force in the region of Cam- 
brai and Douai, planned to take Lille, 
turn on and force back Maud'huy; at 
the same time other forces would ad- 
vance on Boulogne, Calais, and Dun- 
kirk. 

The battle opened October 1, and by 
the 4th the French had been pushed 
back west of Lens, and were beginning 
to retire to the hills behind Arras. On 
the 6th the Germans shelled Arras, and 
later attempted to take the town, in 
which they failed. They had succeeded, 
however, in repelling Maud'huy's of- 
fensive, and had prevented the turning 
of their flank. It was now decided to 
move the British force from their 
trenches on the Aisne to the left of 



Maud'huy, who now, like de Castelnau 
before him, would remain on the defen- 
sive. The situation of the Allies was 
critical. Antwerp was about to fall, 
the Lys had been crossed by the Ger- 
mans and Ypres occupied by them (Oc- 
tober 3). The channel ports as well as 
Lille were in danger. The presence of 
Germans in the region about Haze- 
brouck and Ypres implied an attempt 
either to intercept the British and Bel- 
gians retreating from Antwerp, or to 
turn Maud'huy's left in the region of 
Lens. Joffre therefore decided to con- 
centrate still another army between 
Lens and Dunkirk, which, with the Brit- 
ish, was to form the extreme left of the 
Allies. This army was to be com- 
manded by General d'Urbal, while Foch 
was to take general charge of the four 
armies — de Castelnau's, Maud'huy's, 
French's, and d'UrbaPs. The transfer 
of the British forces was successfully 
accomplished; they were to take posi- 
tion north of the line Bethune-Lille, at- 
tack the enemy opposing Maud'huy's 
left wing west of La Bassee, and at- 
tempt to defend or recover Lille, as the 
case might be. 

The country in which the operations 
of many months on the left of the Allies 
were to take place consists essentially 
of the plain of the Scheldt. This plain 
is broken by no natural obstacles but 
is intersected by many canals. The 
Scheldt bisects it roughly and receives 
the Lys at Ghent. On the western boun- 
dary of the plain rises the higher land 
running from Calais southeast to 
Peronne, at the base of which runs a 
series of waterways, mostly canals, 
forming as it were a wet ditch to the ta- 
bleland to the westward. The ditch was 
held by the French. The Germans oc- 
cupied Ghent, Bruges, and Ostend, and 
succeeded in capturing Lille, but were 
driven east of Ypres by the British. 



54 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Further south, the Allies pushed the 
Germans back towards Lille between 
the Lys and the Bethune-Lille Canal. 
While these movements were going 1 on 
the other French armies still further to 
the south were in conflict with the Ger- 
mans from Bethune to Compiegne. 

This period is signalized by Joffre's 
third attempt to turn the German right. 
Lille, although held by the French, was 
in danger of being cut off by the ad- 
vance of the Germans west of the city 
south of the Lys, and the possibility 
was still strong that the Germans might 
make a rush for Calais and Dunkirk, or 
else try to crush the British and Bel- 
gians in retreat from Antwerp. Hence 
Lille was to be saved, if possible, and at 
any rate the other purposes of the Ger- 
mans were to be negatived at any cost. 

-The offensive was taken up by d'Ur- 
bal's army, the British Seventh Divi- 
sion, and the main forces of the British 
coming up from the Aisne. On Octo- 
ber 11 the Allies engaged the Ger- 
mans in a position extending from 
Mont-des-Cats southwest of Ypres 
through La Bassee to Vermelles. Part 
of this position was carried, but the 
main purpose, to drive the Germans 
out of La Bassee and to save Lille, 
failed. On the 10th this city had been 
bombarded; on the 13th it was sur- 
rendered. To the north the Allies had 
met with some success, driving the 
enemy from Ypres as their comrades 
were entering Lille. On the 17th the 
Allies lay approximately north and 
south from the Forest of Houthulst, 
holding the villages of Langemarck, 
Poelcapelle, Passchendaele, and east 
from Ypres to Zonnebeke and south to 
Wytschaete and Nieppe. 

Battle of the Yser.— On October 16 
the Germans attacked Dixmude and 
opened the Battle of the Yser. The left 
wing of the Allies now stretched from 



Compiegne through Arras, Ypres, and 
Dixmude to Nieuport. With the com- 
mand of the sea in the hands of the 
Allies, the efforts of the Germans were 
necessarily confined to the fronts Nieu- 
port-Bethune and Bethune-Compiegne. 
The nature of the ground north of Be- 
thune greatly influenced the character 
of the operations, at first rolling, and 
then, as the sea is approached, flat and 
open, filled with dikes and ditches. From 
Nieuport to Dixmude the line was held 
by the Belgians and French colonial in- 
fantry. Then from Dixmude past Zon- 
nebeke came French Territorials and 
cavalry, then British, who continued on 
to Bethune. From Dixmude to Nieu- 
port the Yser is canalized, and 15-20 
feet above the ground to the west, 
across which runs the embanked rail- 
road between the same points. As the 
country could be flooded, the bridge 
crossings were more than usually im- 
portant. Off the roads the ground was 
difficult to cross, by reason of ditches, 
dikes, etc., and, moreover, was marshy, 
so that artificial cover could not be 
made. For eight days, by night as well 
as by day, the Germans assaulted the 
Belgian position only to be repulsed 
and beaten back. The British monitor 
fleet, mounting 6-inch rifles, did great 
service shelling the German right and 
rear, during which Knocke was partial- 
ly destroyed. The conduct of the Bel- 
gians and the French colonial infantry 
during these eight days was beyond all 
praise: they had held their position 
against superior numbers backed by ar- 
tillery under the most terrible and dis- 
couraging circumstances, and had suc- 
cessfully prevented the desperate ef- 
forts of the Germans to break through 
across the position to Dunkirk and 
Calais. 

The plan of the Allies had been to 
fight a defensive battle on the Yser, and 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



55 



to attack with their centre and right in 
front of Ypres and south of the Lys re- 
spectively. French's specific objective 
was the capture of Menin on the Lys, 
halfway between Roulers and Lille, as 
necessary to an offensive that should 
take Bruges and thus cut the German 
communications. To hold the road 
Menin-Roulers-Ostend was essential to 
German success, because from it ran out 
westward all the roads leading to the 
Allied line between Ypres and the sea. 
Heavily reenforced on the 19th, the 
Germans themselves took the offensive, 
captured Roulers, most of the Roulers- 
Dixmude road, and all of the Menin- 
Roulers-Dixmude-Ostend road and rail- 
road. 

The Menin operation failed. The 
plan assigned to Sir Douglas Haig,* to 
push through and if possible to cap- 
ture Bruges, became impossible of ac- 
complishment, for the Germans, in spite 
of the most determined resistance, in 
spite of frightful losses, were gaining, 
and it became evident that the best the 
Allies could hope for was to hold on 
until reinforcements could come up. By 
the night of the 22d the Germans had 
crossed the Yser Canal at Tervaete, 
and north of Ypres had pierced the 
Allied lines. South of that city there 
was only a thin line, and the right of 
the Allies was withdrawing from the 
Givenchy-Radinghem ridge. But on 
the 23d the Allied prospect brightened. 

* Sir Douglas Haig, born (1861) in Fife- 
shire; educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; 
served with distinction in the Sudan and in 
South Africa; later held important posts of 
India, being chief of staff (1909-1912); was 
general officer in command at Aldershot (1912- 
14) ; general in command in the First Army 
from landing of expeditionary force in Euro- 
pean War (1914); distinguished himself in the 
retreat from Mons, at the Aisne, at Ypres, and 
Neuve Chapelle; succeeded Sir John French 
as commander in chief of British forces in 
France and Belgium (December, 1915); G.C.B. 
and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor of 
France; author of Cavalry Studies (1907). 



The Forty-second French Division 
(Grossetti) with howitzers had reached 
Furnes and relieved the Belgians in 
Nieuport. On the night of October 23- 
24, 14 assaults were made on Dixmude 
and all repulsed. North of Ypres, Brit- 
ish reinforcements had come up, moved 
on the enemy, captured their trenches, 
and beat back five attempts at recap- 
ture, and in the evening of this day a 
division of the French Ninth Corps was 
moved into the line. 

So far the Germans had failed to 
break through. On the 24th the French 
on the left stormed Lombartzyde and 
moved on Westende, thus menacing the 
German right. To prevent this the 
Germans opened a determined attack 
on Nieuport, and along the Yser Canal 
as far south as Dixmude. These at- 
tacks failed. The next day the battle 
was renewed ; guns were mounted on the 
dunes to beat off the fleet. So tremen- 
dous was the effort made that JofFre, 
October 25, resolved to flood the coun- 
try. But the water was slow to spread 
over the meadow's. In the meantime the 
Germans continued their attack, and on 
the 26th seemed to be in a fair way to 
reach Pervyse, halfway between Nieu- 
port and Dixmude. On the 28th they 
attacked all along the line. But in the 
meantime JofFre was hurrying up re- 
enforcements, and the water was rising. 
The next day attack after attack was 
made on Pervyse-Ramscapelle, and the 
latter place was captured that night. 
The 30th found the British fleet reen- 
forced by five destroyers, the Germans 
in Ramscapelle and along the railroad, 
but between it. and the canal embank- 
ment the water was mounting. All day 
the struggle continued for Ramscapelle, 
the embankment, and Pervyse. The 
31st saw the Germans driven back 
across the railroad and the inundated 
region east of the canal. 



56 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Battle around Ypres. — The Battle of 
Ypres is not a separate event from the 
Battle of the Yser. They really over- 
lapped, and are indeed only periods of 
increased intensity of combat distin- 
guished by the prominence of a special 
objective on the part of the Germans, 
and of a special effort by the Allies to 
prevent the realization of that objec- 
tive. Both of these battles are by the 
French denominated the battles in Flan- 
ders, a better name than Yser and 




YPRES BATTLE FRONT 

Ypres. However this may be, opera- 
tions on the Yser proper were checked 
by the inundation spoken of above and 
by the expulsion of the Germans from 
Ramscapelle. The scene now shifts to 
the southward, to the attempts made by 
the Germans to capture Ypres in the 
pursuit of the objective still held by 
them, to wit, to break through the Al- 
lied lines to the French channel ports. 

On October 24 the Allies lines ran in 
a great arc from Dixmude through 
Langemarck, Gheluvelt, through the 
woods southeast of Ypres, along the 
eastern ridge of the Mont-des-Cats, 



across the Lys, to La Bassee. This 
position was energetically attacked on 
this day by the Germans, who very 
nearly succeeded in taking possession 
of Gheluvelt. Attacks on Mont-des-- 
Cats were beaten off. At various other 
points likewise the Allies held. On the 
23d a French division had entered 
Ypres, and for the first time East In- 
dian troops entered the trenches to do 
battle for the Empire — Gurkhas, Sikhs, 
etc. They were afterward withdrawn, 
for climatic reasons, it was said. Fight- 
ing continued through the 25th, and 
on the 26th many attempts were made 
against the Nieuport-Dixmude line. 
The advantage this day lay on the 
whole with the Germans, who had moved 
up the Menin- Ypres road, capturing 
Gheluvelt, and, south of the Lys, had 
got hold of part of Neuve Chapelle. On 
the 28th Gheluvelt was recaptured by 
the British, who also drove the enemy 
to the edge of Neuve Chapelle. Return- 
ing to the attack, the Germans recap- 
tured the entire village, only to be driv- 
en out again, this time by a force com- 
posed in part of East Indian troops. 
Passing over the fighting of the next 
day or two, on the 28th a wireless was 
intercepted, saying that the Germans 
would attack next morning. On that 
day (the 29th) the French south of 
Bethune took the offensive so as to keep 
as large a force as possible of the enemy 
from joining in the struggle around 
Ypres. On the 30th and 31st French 
reinforcements continued to arrive. 

The Allied position on the morning of 
the 31st ran from Zonnebeke on the 
north to Festubert on the southwest. 
The eastern ridges of Mont-des-Cats 
were still held by the Allies ; south of 
this the line extended to the Lys, cross- 
ing it and curving around Armentieres 
to Neuve Chapelle and thence to Festu- 
bert. The German plan was to hold on 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



57 



the flanks and to make their main at- 
tack on the centre to Ypres : if the cen- 
tre could be broken, and the ridge of 
Mont-des-Cats captured, the Allied 
forces would be cut in two, and permit 
either an advance on Boulogne or an at- 
tack south of the Lys against the Al- 
lies intrenched there, or indeed both. At 
daybreak the Germans opened an in- 
tense fire on the lines southeast of Ypres 
and drove the British back into their re- 
serve trenches. An equally violent at- 
tack was made across the Ypres-Com- 
ines Canal, which also drove back the 
British. At one or two points the lines 
were momentarily broken. In general 
the Germans had advanced in the cen- 
tre and were within a few miles of 
Ypres. In the north the French had 
taken Bixschoote and reached Passchen- 
daele. On the Yser, at Ramscapelle, 
the Germans were hurled across the ca- 
nal, and farther south the French 
pushed their offensive in the direction of 
Roulers. But in the centre a tremen- 
dous effort was made to crumple up the 
British line and capture the ridge of 
Mont-des-Cats and Ypres. The defense 
made by the British, outnumbered and 
outgunned, against the successive at- 
tacks of the Germans will ever remain 
remarkable in their annals. These at- 
tacks came very near succeeding; the 
thin British lines, worn out by their 
efforts to hold, exposed to artillery fire, 
began to fall back, and the guns were 
even withdrawn to Ypres. The roads 
behind the Germans were filled with mo- 
tor vehicles ready to take the troops to 
any point of the field. But at this mo- 
ment the British stood their ground. 
The Germans coming up the Menin- 
Ypres road were stopped, and were 
driven out of the woods east and south- 
east of Ypres. To the south the de- 
fense was equally spirited, keeping the 
Germans from reaching the ridge of 



Mont-des-Cats. November 1 the Ger- 
mans took Wytschaete and Messines, 
villages at the foot of the ridge, but 
failed to make the ridge itself. The 
struggle continued during the whole of 
this day ; the Germans were driven out 
of Wytschaete, but the village was 
abandoned. On the 2d Neuve Chapelle 
was carried, but the attempt on Armen- 
tieres failed. North of the Lys re- 
newed efforts to gain possession of the 
ridge of Mont-des-Cats proved unsuc- 
cessful. On the 3d the French took the 
offensive from Dixmude-Nordschoote ; 
the effect of this was to hold back forces 
that otherwise would have moved 
against the lines farther south. 

And so it went day after day. The 
Germans made another great effort on 
November 10, when they shelled Dix- 
mude more heavily than ever before, 
blew up the French trenches and ad- 
vanced against the town. After a ter- 
rible hand-to-hand fight the French 
withdrew to the west of the Yser. On 
the remainder of the front artillery 
played and assaults were made. The 
11th opened with tremendous artillery 
fire from both sides of the Menin-Ypres 
road, lasting three hours. Immediate- 
ly afterward 15 battalions of the Prus- 
sian Guard advanced from the east, 
while at the same time charges were un- 
dertaken by other troops. Everywhere 
north of the Lys the Allied front was 
attacked. Everything failed except the 
effort of the Prussian Guard, who got 
up to within a few yards of the trenches 
only to recoil and finally to retreat be- 
fore the blasting fire that greeted them. 
The Battle of Ypres was over, after 
having lasted one month, with stag- 
gering losses on both sides. It must be 
accounted a German defeat. 

The conclusion of the battles of Flan- 
ders, November 11, 1914, marks the be- 
ginning of what may be called the long 



58 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



siege of the armies over the whole line 
from the sea to the Swiss frontier. It 
was a time of ceaseless watching, of 
hardship and trial, of continuous fight- 
ing with neither side able to advance at 
the expense of the other. Local advan- 
tages gained first by one and then by 
the other adversary in no way affected 
the issue, and indeed, as measured by 
the ground gained, could not be repre- 
sented on an ordinary map. A word 
is perhaps not out of place in respect of 
the nature of the contest that now be- 
came the rule over the entire western 
front. Trench warfare over this front 
took the place of what may now be 
called old-fashioned operations in the 
open. Mining and countermining be- 
came the rule: the lines in reality were 
areas of parallel trenches protected by 
networks of barbed wire so thickly in- 
terlaid and interwoven that only long- 
sustained artillery fire proved equal to 
breaking them down in clearing the way 
for assault. The troops lived in and 
under the ground, so that the shrapnel, 
the ideal man-killing projectile against 
troops in the open, proved nearly use- 
less, and was replaced by the high ex- 
plosive shell, able to pierce overhead 
shelter and overwhelm the occupants. 
Operations degenerated into a struggle 
of wear and tear. So close did the lines 
draw to each other that antiquated 
methods and weapons sprang into new 
life: hand grenades, knives, and even 
clubs for close work. Trench mortars 
came into existence. Asphyxiating 
gases, in violation of The Hague Con- 
vention, were used. Artillery took a po- 
sition of first importance, as was but 
natural, seeing that a state of siege 
warfare had developed. The reason of 
this state of affairs is to be found, in 
part at least, in the air service, making 
surprise well-nigh impossible, and allow- 
ing time for the threatened side to make 



ample preparations to resist any im- 
pending movement. It also greatly in- 
creased the efficiency of artillery by en- 
abling batteries to correct their fire, 
and by discovering and assigning tar- 
gets invisible from the batteries them- 
selves. In this tremendous struggle 
some few encounters deserve passing no- 
tice before going on to the serious at- 
tempts made by the Allies to break 
through the German lines. Thus the 
French took Vermelles on December 7 ; 
later in the month there was some ex- 
tremely heavy fighting in and near 
Givenchy, followed a few days after- 
ward by the capture of St. Georges by 
the Allies (French and Belgians). Jan. 
3-4, 1915, was marked by a French vic- 
tory at Steinbach in Alsace. Soissons, 
too, became the scene of great activity. 
North of this city the French on Janu- 
ary 8 captured Hill 132, and pushed 
their way eastward. The German coun- 
ter attack, made in force, drove the 
French in from the east, and finally re- 
captured Hill 132. The French were 
compelled to cross the river. Under 
any other circumstances this action 
would have constituted a considerable 
affair; in reality it was only an inci- 
dent. 

The next action standing above the 
general level was that in the region of 
La Bassee. On January 25 a German 
demonstration was made along the 
whole front, from Festubert to Vermel- 
les and as far north as Ypres. Bethune 
was shelled. This contest lasted sev- 
eral days and ended in the repulse of 
the Germans. The French won some 
success in Champagne during this 
period, in the neighborhood of Perthes 
(February 16), and on the whole had 
rather the better of it until the month 
of March. 

Battle of Neuve Chapelle. — The 
event of this period is, however, the 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



59 



Battle of Neuve Chapelle, an operation 
carried out by the British. The imme- 
diate purpose of the Allies was to carry 
this village, as the first step in an ef- 
fort to pass on and capture the ridge 
Aubers-Illies, held by the Germans, and 
curving westward between these two 
points. If this ridge could be taken, it 
was not impossible that the attack 
might even result in the capture of 
Lille, an event that would have been of 
the first importance to the Allies, as 
menacing the German position north- 
ward to the sea. Neuve Chapelle itself 
sits in the easterly angle of a lozenge 
formed by the roads breaking off* from 
the main road La Bassee-Estaires. 
The village itself, with the eastern side 
of the lozenge, was held by the Ger- 
mans ; the western side by the British. 
Strongly reenforced, the British at 7.30 
a.m. on the 10th of March opened a 
bombardment said to surpass in inten- 
sity anything ever heard before. It was 
effective everywhere except at the ex- 
treme north point of the front of at- 
tack, where it failed to break down the 
wire entanglement. After 35 minutes 
the fire was shifted to Neuve Chapelle, 
and the British infantry advanced. In 
the village and south of it the attack 
succeeded, but to the northeast was held 
up by wire entanglement just men- 
tioned. It held off the advance until 
the artillery succeeded in breaking it 
up. By 11 a.m. the whole village and 
wood leading from it northeast and 
southwest had been taken. So well di- 
rected was the artillery fire that the at- 
tempt of the Germans to bring up 
troops was completely stopped. The 
British, however, made no further prog- 
ress. 

The German fire had cut all or nearly 
all the telephone wires and communica- 
tion with the rear became almost impos- 
sible. Furthermore the orchard north 



of the village had remained in German 
hands and so threatened the flank of 
the advance towards the Aubers-Illies 
ridge. There thus arose a delay of 
four and a half hours, which the Ger- 
mans took full advantage of to repair 
their lines, organize fresh defenses in 
rear, and bring up reinforcements. 
When the British advanced again, they 
were stopped both north and south by 
machine-gun fire. 

The next day found the British east 
of Neuve Chapelle, but the remainder of 
their plan had miscarried. On the 12th 
the arrival of German reinforcements 
put the British on the defensive. That 
night the British set to work to con- 
solidate the positions won, some 1200 
yards on a front of 4000. The 13th 
was taken up in beating off a few Ger- 
man counter attacks. On the 14th the 
battle died down on both sides. The 
British casualties were extremely se- 
vere, over 12,000 killed and wounded; 
so also were the German. The net re- 
sult of the battle was undeniably a Brit- 
ish defeat, in that they had failed to 
carry through their plans. But it is 
also undeniable that they had managed 
to break the enemy lines ; whether the 
price paid was worth it, is doubtful. 

After Ypres and Neuve Chapelle. — 
In the next month, April, 1915, the Ger- 
mans made another great effort on a 
large scale to break through the Allied 
lines on the north and so gain the chan- 
nel ports. In anticipation of their ad- 
vance the British took the offensive 
themselves on April 17, with the result 
that, as before in the same region, the 
German plan was frustrated. The Al- 
lies were posted along an arc running 
from Steenstraate on the Yperlee Ca- 
nal east, southeast, southwest, through 
Langemarck, through Broodsende- 
Becelaere, from which last point the 
line curved round to Hill 50 and to 



60 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



the Ypres-Comines Canal. The chord 
of this arc was formed by the Yperlee 
Canal to a point about a mile southeast 
of Hill 60. From this position the Al- 
lies were driven back to a line close to 
Ypres, with especially heavy righting in 
and near St. Julien, where the Canadian 
contingent distinguished itself. The 
Germans even got across the canal at 
Steenstraate, and for a time the posi- 
tion of the Allies was precarious. In 
this particular battle of Ypres the 
Germans made use of deadly gases. By 
means of these the French troops de- 
fending the northern part of the arc 
were driven out ; these gases were later 
again and again discharged against the 
British. Until respirators were fur- 
nished later, there was no living in the 
fumes let loose on the trenches under at- 
tack. Day after day the contest went 
on, the Germans attacking and the Al- 
lies resisting, with the utmost despera- 
tion. On the 30th a vigorous attack 
by the French pushed back the enemy 
on the north of the line. On May 8 
a concentrated effort — one of many — 
was made to reach Ypres. Allied (Brit- 
ish) attempts to push back the enemy 
coming up on both sides of the Ypres- 
Roulers road were unsuccessful. On 
the 9th, fresh but unsuccessful at- 
tempts were made on Ypres. On this 
day the French were successful at La 
Bassee (Carency), the English unsuc- 
cessful south of the Lys. On the 11th, 
Ypres was severely shelled. On the 
13th, the British met with some suc- 
cess on the Ypres-Roulers railway, as 
well as towards the north. The French 
on May 15 recaptured Steenstraate and 
got up to the canal; by the 17th they 
were masters of the left bank. 

In its entirety this battle of a month's 
duration must be regarded as a defeat 
for the Germans. Setting out to take 
Ypres and break through, they had, in 



spite of many local successes, largely 
at least at the outset due to their use 
of poisonous gases, failed to carry out 
their plan. They had lost many thou- 
sands in killed, wounded, and prisoners. 
During the later part of the struggle 
around Ypres the British made a second 
attempt to carry the Aubers ridge with 
the capture of Lille as the principal ob- 
jective. The battle opened May 9 and 
lasted until May 20. The net result 




ARTOIS BATTLEGROUND 

was that the Allied lines were ad- 
vanced some 600 yards over a front of 
four miles. This battle comprised two 
actions known as Aubers Ridge and 
Festubert. 

Battle of Artois. — Before the contest 
before Ypres, just described, had 
closed, the French began the tremen- 
dous Battle of Artois, on the plateau 
of Notre Dame de Lorette and south of 
it, or the line La Bassee-Arras. 

If this operation could be carried 
through German communications be- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



61 



hind it would be threatened and there 
might be a chance of taking Lille. The 
German positions on this front were 
of the strongest. 

They held the high ground around 
Loos, the ridges north of the Souchez 
stream, and most of the plateau run- 
ning south of Lens to the banks of the 
Scarpe. Upon this position had been 
expended every effort of modern mili- 
tary science to make it secure. Be- 
tween Souchez and Arras was a network 
of trenches known as the Labyrinth 
(underground), about 2 miles square. 
The ridge of Notre Dame breaks off 
abruptly to the south in spurs, the 
eastern one of which, the Souchez spur, 
commands Ablain St. Nazaire and a 
sugar refinery between Ablain and 
Souchez, held by the Germans. From 
one of these spurs trenches had been 
constructed across to the Arras-Be- 
thune road. South of Ablain are the 
heights of Carency, connected by 
trenches with Ablain and Souchez, and 
by another series, the "White Works" 
(white chalk), with La Targette on 
the Souchez-Arras road. East of La 
Targette is Neuville St. Vaast, like the 
Labyrinth, an underground fortress. In 
other words, not only was the surface 
of the ground admirably fortified by 
elaborate trenches and redoubts, sup- 
plied with ammunition, etc., but sub- 
terranean areas had been excavated to 
house troops and supplies, where, safe 
from aerial observation and overhead 
fire, they could be kept until needed, to 
rejiel the enemy already exhausted and 
reduced by his advance. 

General d'Urbal was in immediate 
command, assisted by Foch and Joffre, 
but to General Petain, later to distin- 
guish himself at Verdun, belongs the 
credit of the reduction of the Labyrinth. 
Seven corps were engaged, and over 
1100 guns of all calibres had been con- 



centrated for the preparation. For 
months the French sappers had been 
occupied in mining the German defenses. 
The battle opened at 6 a.m. on Sunday, 
May 9, by the fire of the 1100 French 
guns. Three-quarters of an hour later 
the Carency mines were blown up, as 
were others on the Notre Dame ridge. 
The bombardment lasted three hours 
and at 10 the infantry moved out. All 
day the battle raged. Three of the 
five trenches on Notre Dame plateau 
were carried ; when night fell the French 
dug themselves in. South of Notre 
Dame, at the same time, the French at- 
tacked Carency, took the trenches, but 
failed to take a work on the east. They 
nevertheless pushed on to Souchez. La 
Targette was taken, as was part of the 
White Works. Passing on, a part of 
Neuville St. Vaast was then captured. 
On the 10th the fighting continued. On 
the 11th the attack on Neuville St. 
Vaast reduced the cemetery, but the 
Labyrinth still held out. The next day 
Notre Dame de Lorette fell, as did 
Carency. From Carency the French 
pushed on to Ablain St. Nazaire. But 
the Germans still held on to a spur of 
the Notre Dame ridge, the spur of the 
"White Way." On the 21st, however, 
the spur was carried, as was most of 
Ablain. A few Germans, however, still 
held the cemetery, only to be dislodged 
on the 28th. Three days later the 
French took the Souchez refinery and in 
June captured the Labyrinth. Indeed, 
fighting went on in this region until the 
autumn. Each side is estimated to have 
lost 60,000 men in this tremendous bat- 
tle. Having regard to the ultimate 
purpose of the French in taking the of- 
fensive, it must be admitted that they 
failed : they had not broken through the 
German lines. Lille was still in posses- 
sion of the enemy whose communications 
were still open. In all probability, 



62 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



however, the Germans had been kept so 
busy as to have no troops to spare for 
the attempt on Ypres previously de- 
scribed. And it was further proved 
that with sufficient preparation by ar- 
tillery and mining German positions 
could be carried to a considerable 
depth. 

Simultaneously with the Battle of 
Artois, there was considerable activity 
further east in the Argonne region and 
on the St. Mihiel salient, on the western 
front of which the French succeeded in 
capturing Les Eparges. They also met 
with some success on the southern face, 
on the edge of the Forest of Apremont. 
Southeast of Luneville in the Vosges the 
Germans took the Ban de Sapt on June 
22. In July it was recaptured by the 
French, who also made some small ad- 
vances in Alsace. 

Battle of Champagne. — The French 
check in the Artois country was fol- 
lowed by fighting chiefly in the Vosges, 
mostly of a local character. This con- 
tinued until September, when the 
French opened an offensive for which 
they had long been making prepara- 
tions. Apart from the advantage that 
would accrue if this offensive should 
succeed, there -were reasons of a politi- 
cal order that called for something more 
from the Allies than mere nibbling at 
the German lines. The German cam- 
paign in the east was meeting with suc- 
cess. To counterbalance this success, 
and at the same time to relieve the pres- 
sure on the Russians, it was regarded as 
necessary to deal the common enemy a 
mighty blow in the west. To keep him 
ignorant of the precise point at which 
the blow was to fall, for weeks previous 
substantially the entire German posi- 
tion was subjected to intense bombard- 
ment. Beginning in the middle of Au- 
gust, this bombardment was especially 
heavy on the Belgian front in the 



Souchez region, before Arras and Roye, 
along the Aisne, in Champagne, and fin- 
ally in the Argonne and Woevre dis- 
tricts, and in Lorraine. As the time 
drew near for the infantry work, the 
bombardment increased in intensity over 
the front selected for attack. That 
front was in Champagne, between Au- 
berive on the west and Ville-sur-Tourbe 
on the east, a distance of some 15 or 16 
miles. The centre of the French line 
was defended by the 6th, 5th, and 4th 
armies. The front held by the 4th 
(Langle de Cary) was the one selected 
from which to deliver the offensive. 

Some 4 or 5 miles behind the corre- 
sponding German position and roughly 
parallel to it, runs the Bazancourt- 
Challerange railway. If the French of- 
fensive could reach this railway a mis- 
chief would be done to the enemy, for 
this road communicated with Metz on 
the east. But the natural strength of 
the German position had been increased 
by the arts of the engineer. From Au- 
berive this position followed the crest of 
the low ridge north of the Suippes Riv- 
er, rising, as it passed though Souain, 
then by Perthes, with Tahure behind 
(north of) it, and terminated at Mas- 
siges. To say that this whole position 
was intrenched is scarcely to do justice 
to the effort spent on its defensive or- 
ganization ; not only were there the 
usual trenches (lines) facing the enemy 
position, but cross trenches had been 
dug over the entire area, from which 
flanking fire could be delivered upon the 
enemy if he should succeed in passing 
the first and subsequent lines. There 
were really two positions, two miles or 
so apart, the first immediately in front 
of the French, the second on the re- 
verse of the ridge. The area between 
them was a network of trenches and en- 
tanglements. 

On September 22 the bombardment 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



63 



increased in intensity and was kept up 
until the 25th, when the French infan- 
try broke out of its own trenches and 
gained practically the first line posi- 
tions of the enemy by 12 o'clock noon. 
At some points, however, the Germans 
held, and the work therefore became in 
some sort a series of isolated and de- 
tached actions. On the left the attack 
was exposed to the German artillery 
fire from the plateau of Moronvillers, 
in front it came up against the salients 
of the ridge. The first line was carried, 
however, and the right of this attack 
held all day, and later pushed on deep- 
er and deeper into the German network. 
To the right of the St. Hilaire-St. 
Souplet road, much the same thing 
happened, the French left being stopped 
while the right managed to advance and 
took all four lines of trenches. Fur- 
ther east the enemy trenches were pene- 
trated to a depth of about 500 yards, 
but machine guns stopped the advance. 
North of Souain the French met with 
pronounced success, carrying trench 
after trench almost to the Navarin 
Farm. Between Souain and Perthes 
the German position had been most sol- 
idly organized, but in its eastern por- 
tion the defenses were comparatively 
weak. Here the French delivered their 
main attack in this part of the front, 
the remainder (the left) playing a sec- 
ondary part. The attack carried the 
French advance as far as the Souain- 
Tahure road. In the Mesnil sector 
(east of Perthes) the greatest difficul- 
ties were encountered, but still further 
east, north of Beausejour, the French 
had better fortune, pushing north as 
far as Maison de Champagne. On the 
extreme right (Massiges) the colonial 
troops reached the top of the plateau 
in an incredibly short time, but could 
not advance, because of the effective 
machine-gun fire here developed. The 



first day's fighting therefore had pushed 
back the enemy lines in the centre : the 
flanks had not been driven in, but the 
French managed to secure the ground 
gained. In the west, on the 27th, the 
French got up to the Epine de Vede- 
grange, but no farther. On the next 
day the fighting died down in this sector 
of the battlefield. In the Souain sector 
the French on the 28th made contact 
with the second German position in 
these parts. Between Souain and Ta- 
hure, in front of Perthes, contact with 
this second position was also establish- 
ed, but here the French remained, dig- 
ging themselves in, until October 6. 

While all these events were occurring 
in the centre and left, the most desper- 
ate struggle of all was going on to the 
north of Massiges. From the plateau 
three long spurs ran down like fingers, 
whence the name given to them and to 
the plateau from which they spring, La 
Main de Massiges. These were strong- 
ly held by the Germans. The French 
accordingly attacked across the back 
of the hand, and got up on the pla- 
teau. 

The general result of this battle, the 
local and separate contests of which 
were not over before October 4, was 
that the French gained the Massiges 
plateau, the Tahure ridge, and various 
points in the German second position. 
The elaborate intrenchments and work 
of the first positions were taken. The 
total number of prisoners officially giv- 
en was over 23,000; many guns and 
much war material fell into the hands 
of the French. But as in all the other 
cases of real battles, as distinguished 
from the daily local strife, on the long 
front, the German lines were not brok- 
en ; they were merely pushed back. Al- 
though, therefore, the Germans had suf- 
fered a defeat in that they had been 
driven out of their positions, yet it must 



64 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



be admitted, on the other hand, that 
the French had been disappointed of 
their purpose. This apart, there can 
be no question as to the thoroughness 
of the German defeat. The French staff 
estimated the German loss in killed, 
wounded, and missing at 1-10,000. 

Battle of Loos. — While this great 
battle was going on in Champagne, the 
Allies were renewing their offensive in 
Artois, the British in the Battle of 
Loos, the French in that of Vimy. As 
before in this region, the objective was 
to push into the plain of the Scheldt. 
Reinforcements both of men and of 
guns had given the British the necessary 
elements to undertake the offensive. 
Thanks to this increased strength, they 
had extended their trenches southward 
to Grenay, opposite to Loos and Lens. 
It is apparent, therefore, that in the 
month of September theAllies undertook 
a general offensive, for in addition to 
their two mighty efforts in Champagne 
and Artois, the Germans were kept busy 
in other regions of the front, by dem- 
onstrations on the extreme left, in which 
the navy took a part, in front of Ypres 
and also in the Vosges. 

In spite of the Battle of Artois, the 
Germans still held the eastern slopes 
of Notre Dame de Lorette ; from this 
point their lines stretched north in 
front of (west of) the Loos-Hulluch- 
Haisnes ridge to the canal near La Bas- 
see ; south, they curved through Angres 
and Lievin to Souchez, thench eastward 
of the high road from Bethune to Arras. 
Between Haisnes and Hulluch lay the 
powerful Hohenzollern redoubt, a work 
more or less like the Labyrinth. Their 
general position thus formed a sort of 
salient oriented southwestward on the 
axis Souchez-Lens. The plan contem- 
plated that the British should drive at 
the northern side of the salient (Loos- 
Hulluch-Haisnes), the French at the 



southern (Vimy Heights). The capture 
of either of these positions would force 
the evacuation of Lens. The terrain 
over which the British were to advance 
was covered with villages, pits, gal- 
leries, slag heaps, and mine works gen- 
erally, all connected by trenches. More- 
over, the industrial pits and galleries 
had been taken over and extended by 
the Germans for war purposes. The 
entire area had been defensively organ- 
ized, and equipped with machine guns, 
artillery, and small works and trenches 
generally. In front of the French po- 
sition, northeast of Neuville St. Vaast, 
lay the wooded heights of Vimy running 
northwest to Givenchy with hills 140 
and 119 as conspicuous elevations. 

Preparations for the great offensive 
were completed by September 21. 
Specifically the British were to capture 
Auchy, Haisnes, Pit No. 8, and the 
LTohenzollern Redoubt; further south 
the ridge between Hulluch was to be the 
objective, involving the capture of 
Loos, and Hill 70 to the east of the 
town. The French, as stated, were to 
attack the Vimy Heights. Amply pro- 
vided with artillery, the British besides 
were to employ, for the first time, a gas 
that stupefied but did not kill. The 
action opened with artillery prepara- 
tion on the 21th. During this day the 
entire German position within range 
was taken under fire by both the French 
and the British artillery. On the 25th 
this fire was renewed very early in the 
morning, and suspended two hours later 
in order to allow the infantry to ad- 
vance. This they did at 6.30 a.m. The 
French, however, continued the artil- 
lery preparation until noon. On the 
extreme left, between the canal and Pit 
No. 8, the British met with a serious 
repulse. Part of the Hohenzollern Re- 
doubt was carried, so was Pit No. 8. 
Haisnes was taken as early as 8 a.m., 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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but had to be abandoned by 5 p.m. 
Loos, after a terrible struggle, fell to 
the English, as did Hill No. 70. A 
counter-attack by the Germans recov- 
ered most of Hill 70. As night fell, the 
British line ran around the south of 
Loos to the western part of Hill 70, 
past the west of Hulluch quarries to Pit 
No. 8, then east of Hohenzollern Re- 
doubt, and so back to the original posi- 
tion. The fighting was renewed the 
next day with no material results on 
either side. By night the line ran back 
from Hill 70 to the Loos-La Bassee 
road, then north along this road, then 
northeast of Hulluch. The remainder 
of the line was unchanged. On the 27th 
the Germans recaptured Pit. No. 8 and 
forced their enemies back to the eastern 
part of Hohenzollern Redoubt. The 
next few days were filled with desperate 
fighting, more or less localized. The 
net result, so far as the British were 
concerned, was the capture of Loos and 
a portion of Hill 70. 

The French, on their side, advancing 
a little after 12 o'clock noon, had made 
but slight progress. They took the 
Souchez cemetery, but lost it later, and 
reached the lower slopes of Hill 119. 
The German garrison of Souchez re- 
tired to Hill 119. On the 28th Vimy 
Heights were attacked; the western 
slopes and a large part of the wood of 
Givenchy were taken. 

This battle must be regarded as a 
failure on the part of the Allies. It 
would seem that the British had no re- 
serves available to clinch the results ob- 
tained in their advance. The Germans 
thus had time to rally and counterat- 
tack. It would seem too that the 
French perhaps made a mistake in de- 
laying their advance on the 25th by 
six hours. Had they moved out at the 
same time, the French left and the Brit- 
ish right might have joined hands. The 



Allies' losses were very heavy. The 
British alone lost 50,000 men in this 
battle. Disappointed, however, as were 
the Allies in respect of the main pur- 
pose they had in view, both in Cham- 
pagne and in Artois, they had, never- 
theless, made some real gains. In the 
latter regions they were gradually 
pushing the Germans to the rim of the 
plain of the Scheldt. The British gain 
had, as it were, pushed a salient in be- 
tween La Bassee on the north and Lens 
on the south, thus creating in some 
sort two German salients. 

After the battle the French relieved 
the British from the French left up to 
and including the village of Loos and a 
part of Hill 70. The position of the 
Allies in this new salient of Loos was 
none too secure. But apart from this, 
it was clearly incumbent on the Ger- 
mans to try to recover the terrain they 
had just lost. They accordingly, on 
September 29, attacked the northwest 
face of the British salient, but were 
beaten off. The French on their side 
advanced to Hill 140. The next day 
the German attempts on the northwest 
face were renewed. October 1 the 
French made more progress on Vimy 
Heights. October 3 was marked by a 
fresh attack on the northwestern face, 
and most of the Hohenzollern Redoubt 
was recaptured. On the 8th a counter- 
attack was made on the British posi- 
tion. It was repulsed with loss, as were 
the attempts made on the French near 
Neuville St. Vaast. Later, October 13, 
these attempts on the French were re- 
newed with very much the same results. 
On this day the British themselves took 
the offensive in an effort to extend the 
northern face of their salient. This ef- 
fort very nearly succeeded in gaining 
the Hohenzollern Redoubt for the Eng- 
lish, a part of which only was held, how- 
ever. October 19 the British line ran 



66 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



from Auchez-Hohenzollern, St. Elie, 
and then, so as to encircle Loos on the 
east and south, back to the old trenches. 

The close of the year 1915 saw the 
adversaries confronting one another on 
this as on other portions of the front. 
But in respect of the northern region it 
must be remarked that unsuccessful as 
the Anglo-French efforts to break 
through had proved, yet they had suc- 
ceeded in pushing back the Germans to 
the last ridge of hills separating the 
area of conflict from the plain of the 
Scheldt. One more drive like the Sep- 
tember one, and the Germans might be 
pushed into the plain and so lose this 
part of France. Hence they reenforced 
their hold by reinforcements estimated 
at 600,000, and throughout the winter 
obtained a few minor successes. 

Verdun. — But these, as well as all 
the other events, gave way in February, 
1916, to the most determined attempt 
yet made by any of the combatants on 
any front to win a decision. On the 
21st of this month the Germans opened 
their assault on Verdun. But this place 
had changed its character since the 
opening days of the war. Warned by 
the fate of Liege, Namur, and Mau- 
beuge, it had passed from the condi- 
tion of fortress pure and simple to that 
of fortress related to an army in the 
field. Hence its reduction was no long- 
er a matter of sufficient pounding by 
42-centimeter guns. General Petain * 
was summoned to conduct the of- 
fense. 

* Henri Philippe Petain, born in 1857; de- 
livered notable lectures at the Eeole de Guerre, 
for which he was decorated by King Ferdinand 
of Bulgaria; at beginning of European War 
was colonel of the Thirty-third Regiment of 
Infantry at Arras; distinguished himself in 
the retreat from Charleroi to the Marne; pro- 
moted general of division; in command of an 
army corps took Carency, breaking through the 
German front; in 1915 was in command of part 
of the "Iron Division" of Colonials in Artois 
and Champagne; given command of armies 
around Verdun. 



The first German drive was delivered 
against the point of the Verdun salient 
by heavy columns, over a 7-mile front, 
from Consenvoye to Azannes. After a 
prolonged bombardment of heavy artil- 
lery — it is estimated that during the 
first four days no fewer than 2,000,000 
shells were fired — these columns struck 
the French advanced lines, and at the 
end of a week had advanced 4 miles 
towards Verdun. The right, advancing 
along the Meuse, had reached Champ- 
neuville ; the centre, after taking Beau- 
mont, faced the ridge known as the Cote 
de Poivre; while the left, after captur- 
ing Ornes, threw itself against Fort 
Douaumont, the most northerly of the 
permanent forts of Verdun. After sev- 
eral costly repulses this fort was storm- 
ed and held by the 21<th. Brandenburg 
regiment. 

The second phase of the attack shifts 
to the east. Pushed back to a line run- 
ning west from Douaumont along the 
Cote de Poivre to the Meuse, the French 
now lost Mauheulle and Fresnes. From 
these points the Germans made their 
way across the Woevre plain to the 
edge of the plateau on which the per- 
manent forts are constructed, and ad- 
vanced to Eix, about 5 miles from Ver- 
dun. The total gains so far amounted 
to over 100 square miles. 

Operations in this sector culminated 
in assaults on the fort and the village 
of Vaux, 2 miles southeast of Fort 
Douaumont. From conflicting reports 
it would seem that the German infan- 
try finally won the village, but failed 
to carry the fort and the slopes to the 
east. 

The Germans now turned their atten- 
tion to the territory west of the Meuse. 
Their advance east of the river had 
found its flank exposed to artillery fire 
from the west. Moreover, it might be 
possible to cut the western railroad 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



67 



communication of Verdun. Opening in 
this region on March 6 the Germans, 
after taking Forges and Regneville, 
found further progress barred by two 
fortified heights — the Cote de l'Oie and 
Le Mort Homme, both over 800 feet 
high. On the lower hills between these 
points is the wood known as the Bois 
des Corbeaux, strengthened with en- 
tanglements and batteries. Here, final- 
ly, the Germans made some gains, so 
that their advance, some 2 miles south 
of Forges, brought their line into ap- 
proximate alignment with their posi- 
tions farther east, and threatened the 
French line, strongly posted on Le 
Mort Homme. Moreover, they had 
some success as far west as Melan- 
court. 

In the fifth week of the campaign the 
point of attack was shifted still far- 
ther west, about 3 miles beyond Le Mort 
Homme. On March 21 the wood north- 
east of Avocourt, and on the 22d Hau- 
court Hill, were captured. This left 
the French positions at Melancourt and 
Bethincourt exposed. The greater part 
of Le Mort Homme, as well as the woods 
that flanked it, was now held by the 
Germans. 

On the night of March 30 the town 
of Melancourt was attacked from three 
sides, and at dawn carried. The Be- 
thincourt position was thus rendered 
still more precarious, though the 
French had succeeded in retaking a 
small section of Avocourt Wood. 

In the meanwhile Douaumont ridge 
and vicinity were first shelled and then 
attacked by infantry. A sudden attack 
gave the village of Vaux to the Ger- 
mans. The next day Caillette Wood, 
between Vaux and Douaumont, was 
penetrated by a strong German attack, 
but the French first lines, about 300 
meters south of Douaumont village, 
held against a German assault, in which 



the attack was made in successive waves 
of great strength. 

The struggle over Caillette Wood, 
the first week in April, although severe, 
yields in interest to the operations now 
resumed west of the Meuse. On April 
5 the Germans took Haucourt, half a 
mile southeast of Melancourt. The 
withdrawal from Bethincourt was now 
rendered inevitable, and skillfully made 
on April 8, with small losses ; the new 
French line was established a mile to 
the south. Still keeping the offensive 
and continuing to make gains in this 
sector, the Germans penetrated the 
French lines on hills 265 and 295 (near 
Le Mort Homme), and captured a mile 
and a quarter of French trenches on 
Termiten Hill. This latter gain marks 
substantial progress towards Hill 304, 
the key position of this whole region. 
An interesting and novel illustration of 
the future powers of air craft in actual 
battle was furnished at Cote de Poivre. 
As the Germans were bringing up a bat- 
tery to shell this ridge an air squad- 
ron came up and dropped bombs on the 
battery from an altitude of less than 
1000 feet. The first round of bombs 
killed 9 horses and 30 men, and 
wounded and frightened so many oth- 
ers that the guns had to be abandoned. 

At the end of three months' continu- 
ous fighting, the Verdun campaign had 
not reached a decisive issue. Whatever 
gains were made, however, were made by 
the Germans. Up to this time they had 
occupied about 150 square miles of ter- 
ritory, and approximately 30 villages. 
Their lines were shortened 10 miles (40 
to 30) and they had pushed forward an 
average of about three miles. 

On May 4, the Germans again re- 
newed their offensive with increased 
ferocity. The main attack was again 
directed against Hill 304 which domi- 
nated the ridge west of the Meuse. The 



68 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



German artillery preparation had been 
scarcely if ever equaled for rapidity 
and intensity of concentration. In one 
week the Teutons made seven attacks. 
Ultimately east of Hill 304, all the 
trenches and shelters were destroyed 
and then carried chiefly by means of 
poisonous gases. Despite this the hill 
itself could not be taken. They at- 
tacked Le Mort Homme from all sides 
and finally succeeded in establishing a 
foothold between it and Hill 304. They 
then attacked from a new angle and 
captured Cumieres, a village close to the 
Meuse. A strong French counter at- 
tack only succeeded in recapturing a 
part of the village. The Germans made 
their farthest advance up to this time 
when, on May 30, attacking with fresh 
soldiers drawn from another quarter, 
they captured Caurette Wood on the 
east of Le Mort Homme. They now 
occupied the northern slope and posi- 
tions well around on each side and 
threatened to cut the French off from 
their line of communications. 

In the meanwhile the action on the 
east bank of the Meuse had been rapid. 
The French by a surprise attack cap- 
tured Fort Douaumont on May 22, but 
were unable to maintain their position, 
inasmuch as the Germans recaptured it 
in ten days as well as Caillette Wood. 
Upwards of 2000 prisoners were taken 
by the German forces. On the east of 
Fort Vaux the Teutonic forces also 
made advances. It was surrounded on 
three sides and its fall was only a mat- 
ter of a few days. A small garrison of 
1000 men was left in the fort to defend 
it. By most courageous righting this 
handful of men held the Germans at 
bay for five days. They were finally 
compelled to surrender on June 7. 

In the latter part of June the Ger- 
mans captured the village of Fleury 
which is only S 1 /^ miles northeast of 



Verdun. The French counterattacked 
and won back a foothold in the village 
which they stubbornly maintained and 
thus offset to some extent the import- 
ance of the German victory. West of 
the Meuse, the efforts of the Germans 
seemed to be in vain at Avocourt, 
Cumieres, and Hill 304, although they 
held almost all of Le Mort Homme. 
However they captured Thiaumont by 
assault on July 3, and held it until early 
August when they were driven out by 
the French. Then followed the spec- 
tacle of almost daily changes in pos- 
session of the work. It remained ul- 
timately in the hands of the Germans. 

The struggle for Verdun now became 
a deadlock, neither side being able to 
advance. The Germans were forced to 
withdraw some of their men from the 
Verdun front in order to reinforce their 
position on the Somme. This deadlock 
continued until the latter part of Oc- 
tober, when the French regained in 
three hours what it had taken the Ger- 
mans months of effort to attain. It 
was the most brilliant action of the 
whole Verdun campaign. General Ni- 
velle planned his attack so that it would 
occur when the German lines were the 
weakest and thus have a greater chance 
of success. His artillery preparations 
were brief but of exceedingly great in- 
tensity. Then came the infantry attack 
on October 24. It advanced in four 
columns. The first was between Pepper 
Hill and Thiaumont Farm. This divi- 
sion advanced about a mile and carried 
Thiaumont Farm and Thiaumont Work 
and the Haudromont Quarries. 

The second division was to take Hill 
320 and the Caillette Wood. It carried 
both these positions by an irresistible 
rush. Although this was all they were 
supposed to accomplish the commander 
decided to continue his push forward. 
Consequently they proceeded beyond 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



69 



the wood and surrounded the Douau- 
mont Fort. The village of Douaumont 
on the west was captured and then a 
rush was made for the fort itself. The 
Prussian defenders refused to surrender 
and nearly every one of them was killed 
before the French completely occupied 
the work. 

The third division advanced about 
half a mile, capturing the remainder of 
Vaux-Chapitre Wood and all of Fumin 
Wood. The fourth division pushed the 
Germans from Chcnois and Laufee 
woods, captured Damloup battery and 
encircled Vaux Fort on the east, south 
and west. After the failure of German 
counter attacks, the French began to 
finish the encircling of the fort on the 
next day. It fell on the night of No- 
vember 1-2. 

During the next six weeks there were 
scarcely any infantry engagements and 
the artillery actions which occurred 
were only of minor importance. On the 
15th of December, however, General 
Nivelle executed another great coup. 
He attacked on a front of 6 miles after 
a three-day artillery preparation. He 
succeeded in penetrating the German 
front for a distance of nearly 2 miles, 
and according to a Paris report cap- 
tured over 11,000 prisoners. Vacherau- 
ville, Louvemont, Chambrette Farm, 
Hardaumont and Bezouvaux were tak- 
en. On the 16th and 17th new gains 
consolidated the French positions. 

After this advance the Verdun front 
once again became quiet, each adver- 
sary watching the other and being con- 
tent to remain on the defensive. After 
10 months of heavy fighting the Ver- 
dun struggle was virtually over. In the 
last analysis it was a great French vic- 
tory. The moral effects on the French 
troops and French nation can scarcely 
be estimated. As a reward for his hero- 
ic work at Verdun, General Nivelle was 



made commander-in-chief of all the 
French armies, succeeding General 
Joffre. 

The purpose of the Germans in se- 
lecting Verdun as a point of attack 
gave rise to much discussion. The date 
of the attack was well chosen, in an- 
ticipation of a general Allied offensive 
on the western front, but Verdun itself 
had long ago ceased to be a fortress in 
the technical sense of the word. Hence 
the German effort falls into the same 
class as all others, whether German or 
Allied, to obtain a decision in the west. 
The effort made at Verdun might have 
produced better results if made nearer 
to Paris. Even if successful it would 
result, moral effect apart, in merely 
straightening the German lines ( accom- 
panied of course by a similar straight- 
ening on the French side), unless, in- 
deed, it was believed that a real breach 
could be made, opening the way for a 
real advance into the heart of France. 
It is declared in some quarters that the 
determining condition of the selection 
was for political and dynastic reasons 
the need of a victory for the Crown 
Prince ; and it is further declared that 
Von Hindenburg and Von Mackensen 
both opposed Verdun as the theatre of 
the new offensive. One thing stands 
out : the enormous losses of the Germans 
for the sake, so far, of a few square 
miles of French territory. 

Campaign in Picardy. — The expect- 
ed Allied offensive on the western front 
began in the last week of June by a 
continuous shelling of the German lines 
on the British front. The point chosen 
for the attack was at last seen to be 
the junction of the British and French 
lines near the Somme River. 

The preparation for the advance 
was unique. The new mortars of the 
Allies were first concentrated on the 
first line trenches of the Germans. They 



70 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



were kept in that position for 10 min- 
utes and then concentrated on the sec- 
ond line of trenches. While firing on 
these the Allied troops rushed out and 
easily took the first line. In many cases 
the trenches were completely destroyed, 
and the attackers in some instances 
swept on to the second and third lines. 
Another unique thing about the battle 
on this front was the institution of the 
trench-raiding system, after prolonged 
shelling. At night a raiding party 
would rush into an enemy trench and 
would abandon it as soon as the occu- 
pants were bombed or captured. This 
was also important as a method of find- 
ing out the effectiveness of the artillery 
firing. 

The objective of this campaign was 
the capture of Bapaume and Peronne. 
The British were to take the former and 
the French the latter. By the end of 
the first week the French had advanced 
about 4 miles and had captured Curulu, 
Estrees and Heure. They took about 
800 prisoners. During the same week 
the British advanced about 2 miles and 
captured La Boisselle, Thiepval, and 
Contalmaison. They took about 6000 
prisoners. It was apparently the plan 
of campaign for the French and Brit- 
ish armies to advance pari passu, in- 
asmuch as in the second week the 
French just held the positions won and 
waited for the British to come abreast 
of them. The British captured Trones 
Wood for the second time on July 11, 
and again took Mametz Wood on the 
next day. On the 15th they captured 
the village of Pozieres and 2000 prison- 
ers. In the meantime the French had 
advanced eastward and captured 
Biaches, only 2 miles from Peronne. 
They had also taken Hill 97, the high- 
est land in the neighborhood and a posi- 
tion which controlled the Somme valley 
for some distance. The latter part of 



July saw the French positions consoli- 
dated and the British firmly entrenched 
in Pozieres. 

In the first week of August the Brit- 
ish and Australian troops advanced 
from their trenches north of Pozieres 
and captured the top of a crest which 
overlooks Courcellette and Martin- 
puich. This gave them a direct out- 
look on their immediate objective Ba- 
paume, which was 6 miles distant over 
a stretch of rolling country. On Au- 
gust 8 a combined French and British 
offensive made important gains towards 
Guillemont, west of Combles. The re- 
sult was a gain of from 300 to 500 
yards on a front of about 4 miles. Ger- 
man counter attacks with the aid of 
liquid fire succeeded in taking 50 yards 
of trenches from the Australians north- 
west of Pozieres. 

The next Allied advance occurred 
north of the Somme. The French moved 
forward from a point opposite Harde- 
court (where they joined the British) 
to the Somme. The advance stopped. 
The pushing in of this wedge placed 
Clery and Guillemont in a pocket. 
Northwest of Pozieres the British, on 
the 14th, advanced about 350 yards on 
a front of approximately a mile, while 
the French further strengthened their 
position on Hill 109. On the 16th the 
French made substantial gains north of 
Maurepas and also south of that town, 
between it and Santerre. The efforts 
of the French in driving eastward 
toward Guillemont, Clery and Maure- 
pas seemed to indicate that they were 
going to try to approach Peronne from 
the north rather than to expose them- 
selves to a frontal attack. 

On the 24th Maurepas fell and the 
French pushed several hundred yards 
beyond on a l 1 /^ mile front. This left 
Clery almost completely surrounded and 
left the French in front of Combles, an 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



71 



important railroad centre. The Brit- 
ish advanced 300 yards south of Thiep- 
val and put this town in a similar posi- 
tion to that of Clery. The month end- 
ed with the British seizing ground be- 
tween Guillemont and Ginchy. Strong 
German counter attacks had been re- 
pulsed all along the line. 

During the month of September Com- 
bles and Thiepval were captured by the 
French and British respectively. The 
French salient between Ginchy and 
Clery was deepened by the capture of 
several small villages. The result was 
that the new French lines were estab- 
lished on the outskirts of Combles. 
Then south of the Somme a great effort 
on the part of the French succeeded in 
capturing Berny, Soyecourt, almost all 
of Vermandovillers, Chilly and about 2 
miles of the railroad running from Roye 
to Chaulnes. During the second week 
the British thrust out west of Combles 
and succeeded in taking the entire vil- 
lage of Ginchy. The British lines were 
now within a few hundred yards of 
Combles. Taking advantage of this 
thrust, the French prepared to com- 
plete the pocket around Combles. After 
a heavy artillery preparation, the infan- 
try advanced on the 12th. They ad- 
vanced a distance of about 2 miles and 
gained the Peronne-Bapaume road just 
south of Rancourt. The next day they 
captured Bouchavesnes and Hill 76. On 
the 16th and 17th the Allied armies 
stormed German positions over 4 miles 
in length. In this advance the British 
captured the famous "Danube Trench." 
They also captured the almost impreg- 
nable Mouquet Farm which had been 
the scene of several hard struggles. 

On the 20th the Germans made 
strong counter attacks in order to re- 
gain the ground lost to the French 
north of the Somme. They attacked on 
a three-mile front for a period of al- 



most 10 hours but were repulsed. 

On the 25th, another great forward 
movement of the Allies began and re- 
sulted in victories on a front almost 15 
miles long. The British captured the 
villages of Morval and Lesboeufs, north 
of Combles. The French took Rancourt 
and went right up to the village of 
Fregicourt. These two movements com- 
pletely cut off all means of escape from 
Combles. On the 26th it was taken. 
The British swept in from the north 
and the French from the south. A large 
quantity of war supplies fell to the vic- 
tors. The British also took Thiepval, 
which was of even greater importance 
than the taking of Combles, because it 
had checked them ever since the cam- 
paign began. Not content with these 
gains, the Allies pushed on. The Brit- 
ish captured a very strong redoubt 
northeast of Thiepval and were now less 
than 3 miles from Bapaume. The 
French advanced east of Rancourt and 
also entered the St. Pierre Vaast Wood 
east of Fregicourt. 

The first week in October saw a com- 
parative lull in the battle on the Somme. 
The British and the French made some 
small advances but seemed to be resting 
up for a renewed effort. This began 
on October 7. The Allies by a con- 
certed movement pushed forward over 
half a mile on an eight-mile front. The 
British captured Le Sars. The French, 
breaking through the German Morval- 
Bouchavesnes trenches, pushed their 
line to the top of Sailly-Saillisel ridge 
and were right at the entrance to the 
village of Sailly. South of the Somme 
the French occupied the village of Bo- 
vent on the 10th, and also took a large 
part of Chaulnes Wood. In the next 
two weeks the Allies extended their 
lines up to the village of Le Transloy 
and the French gained a foothold in the 
village of Sailly-Saillisel. 



72 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



On October 30 the Germans began 
strong counter attacks. They succeed- 
ed in driving the Allies out of part of 
La Maisonette and took several hun- 
dred prisoners as well as several lines 
of trenches. The positions gained were 
the most threatening to Peronne held 
by the French. The heavy fighting 
was done by German troops which had 
been withdrawn from the Verdun front. 

In November it appeared that the Al- 
lied offensive had spent itself without 
accomplishing its objective. The heavi- 
est fighting was in the Ancre Brook 
region, at the northern end of the 
Somme battle front. Before this op- 
eration took place the French had suc- 
ceeded in tightening their hold on the 
Le Transloy region and in taking the 
greater portion of Saillisel. They also 
captured Ablaincourt, Ablaincourt 
Cemetery and Pressoire. On the 11th 
they took the rest of Saillisel. On the 
13th began the great drive in the Ancre 
region. By a surprise attack the Brit- 
ish penetrated the whole German front. 
On the 14th they advanced up the An- 
cre valley and captured the village of 
Beaucourt. This gave them a position 
overlooking Bapaume and straightened 
out a salient which threatened their 
lines in this region. Strong German 
counter attacks in the vicinity of Pres- 
soire resulted in the retaking of part of 
that village. On the 16th the French 
counterattacked and succeeded in re- 
gaining these positions. 

During the months of December, 
1916, and January, 1917, the positions 
on the Somme front remained practi- 
cally the same. The days were broken 
by skirmishes and artillery duels and 
the nights by trench raids, but the ex- 
tremely cold weather, the fog and 
enormous shell .holes filled with water 
made any real advances out of the ques- 
tion. Another unique feature of the 



Somme battle ought to be mentioned 
here. It was the use by the Allies of 
great armored tractors. They were 
carried along on giant caterpillar 
wheels and could go right over trenches 
and shell holes without having their 
progress impeded. They were armed 
with machine guns and wrought con- 
siderable havoc, especially where the 
ground was anyway level. 

The new Allied attack in the west 
was part of a general plan whereby 
the Allies attacking simultaneously on 
all fronts — France, Russia, Italy — 
hoped to deprive the Central Powers of 
the advantage they hitherto derived 
from their interior position of being 
able to move troops quickly from one 
threatened position to another. The 
success achieved in the early part of 
the new offensive proved the soundness 
of this plan. 

Continuation of the Campaign in 
Picardy {Battle of the Somme). — Dur- 
ing the month of December the Allied 
army devoted almost its entire energies 
to the improvement of its positions. 
New trenches were built and the old 
ones improved. Roads and other means 
of communications behind them were 
put in the highest state of efficiency. 
When the weather permitted further 
operations the first British object was 
to drive the Germans from the re- 
mainder of the Beaumont Hamel Spur 
and the Beaucourt Valley. By the end 
of January, as a result of a series of 
minor operations, the high ground north 
and east of Beaumont Hamel was oc- 
cupied and they had pushed across the 
Beaucourt Valley and had gained a 
footing on the southern slopes to the 
west. 

The possession of this spur gave the 
British complete artillery control of 
the Beaucourt Valley and the western 
slope. The capture of German trenches 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



73 



on the western slope on the night of 
February 3-4 made the German hold on 
Grandecourt and the positions west of 
that place and south of the Ancre Val- 
ley very uncertain. The result was that 
these positions were abandoned and 



this were successful it would bring into 
view hostile batteries in the upper An- 
cre Valley and would command the ap- 
proaches to Miraumont on the west. 
These two attacks were executed on the 
night of February 17, and continued 




From Current History Magazine, New York Times Co. 

Scene of the German Withdrawal 



Grandecourt was occupied on Febru- 
ary 7. 

The British High Command now de- 
vised a scheme to carry its line along 
the spur which runs northward from the 
Morval-Thiepval ridge about Courcel- 
ette and so gain possession of the high 
ground at its northern extremity. If 



next day. The fighting was severe 
and fraught with counter attacks. 
The British plans succeeded, neverthe- 
less, with the result that, after a heavy 
bombardment the villages of Pys, Mir- 
aumont and Serre were found to be 
evacuated and were occupied. 

The capture of Puiseux-au-Mont on 



74 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



February 27-28 and the villages of Le 
Barque, Ligny-Thilloy and Thilloy on 
March 2, had driven the Germans back 
to the Le Transloy-Loupart line with 
the exception of the salient formed by 
the village of Irles. This was taken by 
assault on March 10. The Le Trans- 
loy-Loupart line was now so heavily 
bombarded that the Germans were com- 
pelled to retire to a parallel system of 
trenches on the other side of the vil- 
lage. 

The German Withdrawal. — General 
Haig in his report on May 31, 1917, 
stated that for some time previous to 
the middle of March observations 
seemed to indicate that the area of Ger- 
man withdrawal would be greater than 
the one described above. It was learned 
that the Germans were preparing a new 
defensive line called the "Hindenburg 
Line," which branched off from the 
original line at Arras, ran southeast- 
ward to Queant and then passed west of 
Cambrai toward Saint Quentin. Hin- 
denburg apparently feared the salient 
between Le Transloy and Arras which 
became more difficult to hold as the 
British pushed up the Ancre Valley. 

On March 14, it was discovered that 
practically all the German first line 
trenches before St. Pierre Vaast Wood 
had been evacuated. About the same 
time it was discovered that the German 
forces south of the Somme had been 
greatly weakened. As a result of these 
observations, the British and French 
High Commands ordered a general ad- 
vance for March 17. By the evening of 
the same day Chaulnes and Bapaume 
had been captured. These were de- 
fended by machine guns and infantry 
left to cover the retreat. On March 18, 
Peronne was taken by the British in 
conjunction with the French. By 
March 20, the British had crossed the 
Somme River in large numbers and had 



established a line from south of Ger- 
maine, where they joined the French, 
through Havcourt to Bus. This move- 
ment necessitated hasty building of 
bridges across the Somme. All the old 
bridges had been destroyed by the re- 
treating Germans. Northeast of Ba- 
paume, Morchies had been occupied. 

The Allied advance continued, meet- 
ing with little opposition, so that by 
the first week in April, the British were 
established on a line running through 
Selency, Jeancourt, Epehy, Ryaul- 
court, Doignies, Mercatel, and Beau- 
rains. This line brought the British 
and French into contact with the "Hin- 
denburg Line" from Arras to Saint 
Quentin. This withdrawal on the part 
of the Germans returned to France ap- 
proximately 1500 square miles of ter- 
ritory. It was the first time since 
trench warfare had started that cavalry 
and large bodies of troops had partici- 
pated in an open battle. The retreat- 
ing Germans had completely devas- 
tated the country as they withdrew. 
Roads, railways, and bridges were sys- 
tematically destroyed. Houses, wells, 
and orchards were blown up with dyna- 
mite. Not a thing was left which could 
be of the least value to the advancing 
armies. 

Battle of Arras. — One of the reasons 
for the German withdrawal was to nul- 
lify any preparations the Allies had 
made for a spring offensive. This ob- 
ject failed of realization when scarcely 
a week later the British began an of- 
fensive on a 12-mile front north and 
south of Arras. The battle gradually 
extended to an offensive over the whole 
line from Arras to Saint Quentin. The 
heaviest fighting was done on a line ex- 
tending from Givenchy, southwest of 
Lens, to Henin, southeast of Arras. 
This line has commonly been called the 
hinge on which Hindenburg swung his 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



75 



retreat after the battle of the Somme. 
A four-day artillery preparation of al- 
most unprecedented violence paved the 
way for the advance. On the first day 
of the battle, Canadian troops stormed 
Vimy Ridge, the top of which was liter- 
ally blown off by the artillery. Four 
thousand prisoners and large quantities 
of war material were captured here. On 
April 10, the British advanced to the 
outskirts of Monchy-le-Preux, which 
threatened Mochy and the entire Arras- 
Cambrai road. On April 11, Monchy 
fell and on the next day Wancourt and 
Heninel did likewise. 

On April 13, the battle took an en- 
tirely new turn. Sweeping northward 
from their new positions east of Arras 
the British drove the Germans back on 
a 12-mile front, capturing six villages 
and seriously threatening the coal city 
of Lens. On the 14th the British 
pushed closer to Lens and on the 15th 
entered the outskirts of the city itself. 
For several days no further progress 
was made because of severe artillery 
duels, violent counter attacks, and con- 
solidation of positions. 

On April 24, the British pushed for- 
ward east of Monchy and the next day 
advanced south of the Scarpe River. 
Three days later they broke the "Oppy 
Line," a switch of the Hindenburg line, 
by the capture of Arleux-en-Gohelle. 
They also occupied a part of Oppy vil- 
lage (29th), but were compelled to re- 
tire from it in the face of heavy ar- 
tillery fire. On May 3, the British took 
Fresnoy and part of Bullecourt, but 
were later forced to give them up on 
account of heavy counter attacks. It 
may help to realize the fierceness of 
the fighting when it is stated that Ga- 
vrelle changed hands eight times in one 
day. The British reentered Bullecourt 
on May 12, and also took part of 
Rceux. In the next three days these po- 



sitions changed hands three times, with 
the Germans having the better of the 
counter attacks. 

The battle of Arras had now prac- 
tically come to a standstill. In the first 
two weeks of June the British were 
driven back east of Loos, from Bulle- 
court and east of Monchy-le-Preux. 
The Germans had lost 15,000 prison- 
ers and nearly 200 guns. The total 
effects of the battle of Arras was the 
placing of Lens in a pocket, the mouth 
of which was ever growing smaller. 
This city was a nest of machine guns 
and all the houses had been leveled so 
that the German artillery might get a 
full sweep. The British suddenly shift- 
ed their operations to the Ypres sector. 
(See below). 

Aisne Offensive (April, 1917). — The 
French pursuit of the Germans after 
their great retirement was very rapid. 
Their advance was directed toward La 
Fere. Without any serious opposition 
the French reached Tergnier, 2 miles 
from La Fere. Further south, how- 
ever, the French struck a snag in the 
Ailette River which protected the for- 
ests of Coucy and St. Gobain. They 
succeeded in crossing the river and cap- 
turing the village of Coucy, but were 
unsuccessful in their attempts to cap- 
ture the forest of St. Gobain, which 
was one of the main defenses of the Hin- 
denburg: line. Moving- their line east- 
ward, the French pushed the Germans 
back along the Oise River and thus 
threatened the German hold on St. 
Quentin. In the meantime the British 
had thrown a semi-circle around St. 
Quentin on the north and west of the 
town so that the artillery controlled 
the approaches to it. All attempts on 
the part of the Allies to take the city 
failed, however. 

On April 16, the French launched a 
great offensive on the Aisne River. 



76 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



They attacked on a 25-mile front from 
Soissons to Rheims. The Germans had 
held this line since their retreat from 
the Marne. For 10 days French ar- 
tillery had prepared for the offensive 
and for a similar length of time the 
Germans had been bringing up great 
quantities of men and guns to meet the 
expected attack. A successful attack 
by the French would threaten the im- 
portant city of Laon. On the first day 
the entire German positions on the 
front line were taken along with 10,000 
prisoners. By the end of the third 
day the French had taken 17,000 pris- 
oners and 75 guns. The villages of 
Chavonne, Chivy, Ostel, and Braye-en- 
Laonnois were captured. Further west 
on the southern bank of the Aisne the 
French captured all of Vailly and an 
important bridgehead. Hindenburg 
brought up thousands of fresh troops 
and on April 19, delivered one of the 
strongest counter attacks of the entire 
war between Juvincourt and Berry-au- 
Bac, but they were thrown back in dis- 
order after furious fighting. On the 
same day the French advanced on the 
eastern end of the battle front in west- 
ern Champagne and threatened the 
town of Moronvillers. 

On April 20, the French pressed the 
Germans back toward the Chemin des 
Dames, an important road running 
along the top of the heights north of 
the Aisne River. In this sector Mal- 
maison fort protecting the road from 
Soissons to Laon prevented further 
French advances. For the next 10 days 
there were severe artillery duels and 
numerous local engagements and coun- 
ter attacks, with the advantage usually 
with the French. The terrain of the 
Aisne territory was peculiar. It con- 
sisted of limestone cliffs, which were 
honeycombed with natural and artificial 
caverns, which were practically immune 



to French artillery fire. This necessi- 
tated fierce hand to hand struggles, 
sometimes far underground. 

On May 4, Craonne and several 
strong points north and east of it, as 
well as the German first-line positions 
on a front 2*4 miles northwest of 
Rheims were taken by the French. 
Craonne is on the southern end of the 
Chemin des Dames ridge. Counter at- 
tacks of unprecedented violence failed 
to shake the French grip on the Ladies' 
Road (so called because it was built by 
Louis XV as a promenade for his 
daughters). They gradually pushed 
ahead from the eastern and western 
slopes until they controlled the entire 
road and thus overlooked the Ailette 
River and valley from which the heights 
of Laon rise. Almost ceaseless counter 
attacks were made against the newly 
won French positions but completely 
failed, despite temporary local success- 
es. The French completed their opera- 
tions by driving the Germans across the 
Ailette River (October, 1917), and then 
turned their energies to the Battle of 
Flanders (see below). 

French Success at Verdim. — On Aug. 
20, 1917, after nine months of compara- 
tive quiet the French resumed the offen- 
sive at Verdun. After a three-day bom- 
bardment they advanced on both sides 
of the Meuse and penetrated a mile and 
a quarter on an 11 -mile front. They 
captured Avocourt Wood, Le Mort 
Homme, Corbeaux and Cumieres woods, 
Cote de Talou, Chapneuville, Mormont 
farm, Hill 240 and 4000 prisoners. In 
the next four da}^s smashing blows were 
delivered which resulted in the capture 
of Regneville, Samogneux, Cote de l'Oie 
and 15,000 prisoners. By the 15th of 
September the French had recovered 
100 square miles of the 120 the Ger- 
mans had seized in their great offensive. 
They now held all the dominating posi- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



77 



tions in the Verdun sector and strong 
German counter attacks failed to dis- 
lodge them. 

Battle of Flanders. — On June 7, 
1917, occurred one of the most spec- 
tacular battles of the entire war, that 
for the Messines-Wytschaete ridge. 
This ridge formed a salient which domi- 
nated the entire Ypres sector and which 
was literally a thorn in the sides of 
the Allies. For over two years Brit- 
ish sappers had been burrowing under 
this ridge and finally succeeded in plac- 
ing in position, undetected by the Ger- 
mans, 19 mines containing more than 
1,000,000 pounds of ammonite. These 
were exploded by electricity on the 
morning of June 7. It was like a tre- 
mendous earthquake. The whole tops 
of the hills were blown off and the roar 
could be heard for a distance of 150 
miles. A tremendous shell fire which 
had been playing on the ridge for two 
weeks reached its greatest intensity as 
the mines were exploded. After the 
explosion the British infantry rushed 
forward and by the end of the day had 
wiped out the entire salient. Seven 
thousand prisoners and many guns were 
taken with relatively small losses to the 
attackers. Even the rear protecting 
positions were taken. The attack was 
on a 5-mile front and penetrated to a 
depth of 3 miles. 

The Germans retaliated for this al- 
lied success by a successful attack on 
the Allied line at its most northern ex- 
tremity in Belgium. On July 11, after 
strong artillery preparation, the Ger- 
mans made a strong infantry attack on 
the British positions east of the Yser 
River. The British line at this point 
was about 600 yards east of the river. 
Their entire lines of communication had 
to cross the river to supply the first- 
line trenches. The Germans complete- 
ly destroyed the lines of approach and 



captured or killed the entire British 
force east of the river (about 3000). 
Twelve hundred prisoners were taken. 
The reduction of the Messines-Wyt- 
schaete salient prepared the way for 
further Allied activities in the Ypres 
sector. Consequently, on July 31, 1917, 
the British and French began an of- 
fensive which lasted intermittently down 
to the beginning of 1918, when weather 
conditions forced a halt. The objects 
of this offensive were to compel the Ger- 
mans to give up their submarine bases 
at Ostend and Zeebrugge and to en- 
velop the important industrial centre 
of Lille. For three weeks previous to 
the above date, the artillery prepara- 
tions on both sides had been stupendous. 
The infantry attack was on a 20-mile 
front from Dixmude to Warneton. The 
first attack passed the German third- 
line trenches. On August 1, a severe 
rainstorm lasting 50 hours began, and 
perforce held up further operations. 
On August 10, Westhoek village and 
ridge were carried by storm. The 
French took Bixschoote. The next day 
the British attacked in Glencorse 
Wood. The artillery battle reached 
heights never before attained. Both 
sides seemed to have unlimited supplies 
of ammunition. The German and al- 
lied barrage fires were wonderful to 
watch. On one occasion five distinct 
British barrages were counted. The 
Germans devised on this front a new 
method of defense. The trench system 
was practically given up and concrete 
redoubts, called by the British "pill- 
boxes," were erected in the shell holes. 
They were nests of machine guns and 
were often invisible to airplanes. This 
did away with the necessity of keeping 
great quantities of troops in the for- 
ward trenches and allowed the advance 
lines to be held by scattered forces. 
The terrain was also peculiar. The 



78 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



heavy torrents of rain made the flat 
ground a veritable quagmire. The in- 
fantry sank up to their knees in mud 
and it was almost impossible to bring 
up heavy artillery. 

On August 16 the Allies struck again 
on a 9-mile front north and east of 
Ypres and carried practically all their 
objectives. On the left the French 
drove the Germans from the salient be- 
tween the Yser Canal and Martjevaart 
and captured the bridgehead at Drei- 
grachten. In the centre the British cap- 
tured the strongly fortified position of 
Langemarck and pushed forward for 
another mile. On the right the British 
failed to capture the high ground al- 
most due east of Ypres. They seized it 
in their first assault but were compelled 
to give it up. Weather conditions pre- 
vented any further operations for an 
entire month. 

From the middle of September to the 
middle of October five brutal assaults 
by the allies made a great salient into 
the enemy positions. On September 20, 
an attack began on an 8-mile front be- 
tween the Ypres-Comines canal and the 
Ypres-Staden railway. This resulted 
in the capture of Inverness Copse, 
Glencorse Wood, Nonne Boshen, Pots- 
dam Vampir, Iberian farm, and Gal- 
lipoli. All of these places were named 
by the Allied troops in front of them. 
In the centre Veldhoek and part of 
Polygon Wood were taken. All of 
these gains were consolidated. On Sep- 
tember 26 came another great smash at 
the German lines. Driving on a 6-mile 
front, Tower Hamlets Spur, the re- 
mainder of Polygon Wood and Zonne- 
beke were taken. The advance was ap- 
proximately !/2 mile. On October 4, 
the Allies again attacked on an 8-mile 
front. The British gained control of 
the Passchendaele ridge (their immedi- 
ate object in the Flanders battle) as 



far as Broodseinde. The weather pre- 
vented any further attacks or counter 
attacks. On the 9th, a fourth concerted 
blow captured St. Jean de Mangelaere 
and Poelcappelle. On the 12th, an- 
other attack, interrupted by the 
Aveather, brought the Allies up to with- 
in 500 yards of the town of Passchen- 
daele. These five blows captured an 
area of approximately 28 square miles 
and carried the Allies to the Ypres- 
Roulers road on the northeast as well 
as an advance of a mile over the Ypres- 
Menin road. Roulers was now in the 
range of the heavy artillery, which was 
also able to sweep the Flanders plain. 
The losses of the Allies were compara- 
tively slight. 

After a brief lull the Battle of Flan- 
ders was continued on October 22. On 
that day the British and French ad- 
vanced on both sides of the Ypres- 
Staden railroad. The French secured 
the southern part of Houthoulst For- 
est and a number of fortified farms. 
The 26th saw another big advance in 
the same direction. The British ad- 
vanced west of Passchendaele and north 
of Gheluvelt, while the French took 
Draeibank and several more fortified 
farms. On the 28th the French and part 
of the reorganized Belgian army cap- 
tured the Mercken peninsula (formed 
by canals on three sides) south of Dix- 
mude. On the 30th the British ad- 
vanced from the positions won by them 
on the 26th and captured most of Pass- 
chendaele, but were compelled to retire 
in the face of heavy counter attacks. 
A week later after heavy bombardment, 
the Canadians advanced, took the town 
and continued 800 yards beyond it. 
Furious German counter attacks in the 
next few days failed to penetrate the 
new British line. The British then pro- 
ceeded to clear the rest of the spur by 
advancing northwest of the town. They 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



79 



were now within 5 miles of Roulers. 
The entire Ypres front remained prac- 
tically the same until the beginning of 
1918. The British efforts were turned 
to the battle that developed at Cambrai 
and the Belgian front was the scene of 
heavy artillery duels and trench raids 
carried out to relieve the pressure on 
the Cambrai front. 

Battle around Cambrai. — On Nov. 
21, 1917, began one of the greatest bat- 
tles of the year in the region around 
Cambrai. For a time it appeared as if 
the British were going to smash the 
Hindenburg line to pieces. Then the 
Germans started a counter offensive 
which almost nullified the British gains. 
The battle was a surprise attack with- 
out artillery preparation, a method 
practically unheard of in the present 
war. The attack was on a 35-mile 
front between St. Quentin and the 
Scarpe River, although the main part 
of it was due west of Cambrai. Huge 
"tanks" screened by smoke led the ad- 
vance and plunged through the Ger- 
man defenses as though they were pa- 
per. The first day netted 5 miles, 8000 
prisoners and a number of guns. Gen- 
eral Julian H. G. Byng was in direct 
command of the operations. The vil- 
lages of Benavis, La Vacquerie, Ribe- 
court, Havrincourt, Marcoing, Grain- 
court, Anneux, and Noyelles-sur-1'Es- 
caut were captured as well as several 
forests and fortified farms. Part of 
Bourlon Wood, the dominating height 
around Cambrai, and part of Bulle- 
court were also taken. The village of 
Fontaine Notre Dame, ^4 of a mile 
from Cambrai, was captured but the 
Germans retook it the next day. Open 
fighting prevailed and the cavalry 
played a big part in the British ad- 
vance. 

On November 23 the British attack 
was renewed and a bitter struggle en- 



sued in the neighborhood of Moeuvres 
(south of Bourlon Wood) and at Creve- 
coeur, south of Cambrai. The British 
took a hill dominating the former po- 
sition. Cambrai was under British 
shell fire and Queant was in serious 
danger. Bourlon Wood and village 
changed hands several times. The 
Germans made tremendous efforts to 
hold these dominating positions, but the 
British held on to them tenaciously un- 
til encircled by German troops and 
finally driven out of the village. Cam- 
brai was heavily shelled from the Bour- 
lon Wood. 

On November 30 the Germans began 
a grand counter offensive on a 16-mile 
front on the north, south, and east sides 
of the British wedge. On the north and 
east they failed to gain, but on the 
south they reached La Vacquerie and 
Gouzeaucourt taken by the British on 
the first day of their offensive. On De- 
cember 2, after ten attacks the Germans 
occupied Masnieres. The German re- 
ports stated that 6000 prisoners and 
100 guns had been taken by them up 
to December 4. 

The success of the German counter 
drive on the south compelled the British 
to rectify their line on the eastern side. 
Consequently they withdrew from Bour- 
lon Wood and gave up Noyelle-sur- 
l'Escaut, Anneux, Cantaing, Grain- 
court, and Marcoing. Approximately 
one-half of the territory gained by the 
British was regained by the Germans. 
American engineers, working behind the 
British lines, were caught when the Ger- 
mans broke through. They seized guns 
from fallen soldiers and fought vali- 
antly. Several lost their lives. 

The entire western front was now 
alive with artillery action from the sea 
to Switzerland. All the European 
newspapers predicted a big drive "some- 
where on the front." A furious attack 



80 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



west of Cambrai on December 13 was 
repulsed by the British. The Germans 
attacked between Bullecourt and Queant 
(10 miles) in mass formation but were 
unable to break through. The line on 
the entire front was the same at the be- 
ginning of 1918, because winter put an 
end to any further operations. 

Allied Unity. — The prime ministers 
of France, Italy, and Great Britain met 
at Rapallo, Italy, on November 9 and 
formed the Supreme War Council, 
which was to coordinate the military 
powers of the Allies and wage war as 
a unified group and not as individuals. 
The members of the Supreme War Staff 
were to be Generals Cadorna (Italy), 
Foch (France), and Wilson (British). 
According to the agreement, "The Su- 
preme War Council has for its mission 
to watch over the general conduct of 
the war. It prepares recommendations 
for the considerations of the govern- 
ments and keeps itself informed of the 
execution and reports thereon to the re- 
spective governments." 

On November 7, 1917, a United 
States Commission headed by Colonel 
E. M. House arrived in London to con- 
sult with the Allies. Secretary of State 
Lansing announced that the object of 
the mission was "a more complete co- 
ordination of the activities of the vari- 
ous nations engaged in the conflict and 
a more comprehensive understanding of 
their respective needs, in order that the 
co-belligerents may attain the highest 
efficiency." He strongly emphasized the 
fact that it was a war and not a peace 
conference. Most of the other Allies 
sent representatives with the same ob- 
jects in view. President Wilson cabled 
to Colonel House that "unity of plan 
and control" were essential and he told 
him to attend the first meeting of the 
Supreme War Council. Colonel House 
returned in late December, and urged 



the hasty despatch of American forces 
to Europe, as well as the speeding up of 
shipbuilding, and the securing of Allied 
unity. 

American Expeditionary Force. — 
The first contingents of a United States 
Army to fight in Europe arrived at a 
French port on June 26-27, 1917. 
They were commanded by Major-Gen- 
eral William L. Sibert and received a 
tremendous ovation from the French 
people. The transports on the way 
over had been unsuccessfully attacked 
twice by submarines. Gen. John J. 
Pershing,* the Commander-in-Chief of 
the American force, had been in France 
for some time preparing for the coming 
of the "Sammies," as the French char- 
acterized the American soldiers. 

Training camps for the American 
troops had been located in various parts 
of France and were ready for occupancy 
when the soldiers arrived. Infantry, 
artillery, aviation, and medical bases 
were established. The number of men 
gradually increased, many of them stop- 
ping in England before going over to 
France. An intensive system of train- 
ing was entered upon during the latter 
part of July. The instructors were offi- 
cers and men of the British and French 
armies. The American transportation 
service took over all railways leading 
to American bases and a section of 
French forest was turned over to Amer- 

* Pershing, John J. Born in 1860 and 
graduated from the United States Military 
Academy in 1886. First American to com- 
mand American troops on European battle- 
fields. Graduate of West Point; entered reg- 
ular army as second lieutenant in 1886. Fought 
in Indian wars against Apaches and Sioux. 
Engaged in war with Spain in Cuba, and after 
peace declared ordered to Philippines. Then a 
captain. Fought with great bravery against 
Moros and made brigadier general in 1906, 
being jumped over 862 senior officers. Sub- 
dued Moros in 1913 and returned to United 
States and stationed a*. El Paso, Texas. After 
Villa raid on Columbus, N. M., led punitive 
raid into Mexico. Known as "Black Jack" in 
armv. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



81 



jean lumbermen to supply the needs of 
the expeditionary force. 

The news that American forces were 
in action "somewhere in France" was 
given out in a dispatch on Oct. 27, 
1917, which stated that the artillery had 
fired the first shot and that the infantry 
had entered the first-line trenches. The 
activities did not mean that American 
troops were taking over a section of 
trenches on the western front, but that 
they were completing their training un- 
der actual war conditions. A few nights 
later the Americans crept out into "No 
Man's Land" on reconnoitering expedi- 
tions. Every so often the troops in the 
trenches were changed so that as many 
troops as possible could get a taste of 
real war conditions. On November 3, 
the Germans announced the capture of 
American prisoners when a salient 
which they occupied was cut off from 
the main trenches by a barrage fire. 
The Americans lost 3 killed, 11 
wounded, and 11 missing. Although no 
official announcement was made as to 
the exact location of the sector, a com- 
parison of the various reports seemed 
to show that the region was in the 
Vosges Mountains where the Rhine- 
Marne Canal crosses the boundary line 
between France and Lorraine. During 
November and December, 1917, inter- 
mittent artillery duels and engagements 
between patrols occurred, but no con- 
flict of any size developed. 

The Last Year of the War on the 
Western Front. — The months of Janu- 
ary and February, 1918, were months 
of comparative inactivity along the bat- 
tle line from the North Sea to the Swiss 
border, as well as in Italy, the Balkans, 
and Asia Minor. The outstanding fea- 
ture of the war at the close of 1917 
was the signing of an armistice between 
the Central Powers on the one hand and 
Rumania and the de facto government 



of Russia on the other. The defection 
of Russia from the side of the Allies 
was the signal for a tremendous pub- 
licity campaign in Germany, which pre- 
dicted a gigantic blow on the western 
front which would completely crush the 
British and French armies before the 
American forces could land in sufficient 
numbers to give any substantial aid. 
The depression in allied countries 
caused by the abolition of the eastern 
front was somewhat overcome by Allen- 
by's victories in Asia Minor and the 
unexpected rapidity with which the 
United States rushed men and material 
to Europe. 

The chief cause for the optimistic 
tone of the Teutonic press was the fact 
that huge quantities of material and a 
large number of men could now be trans- 
ferred from the eastern front for imme- 
diate service on the western front. The 
German High Command adopted a 
policy of careful selection of the men 
who were to be transported westward. 
As a skeleton for the new divisions to 
be formed they picked out all the sol- 
diers in Russia between the ages of 25 
and 35. They realized that it would be 
impossible to withdraw all the men from 
Russia inasmuch as the terms of the 
Treaty of Brest Litovsk provided for 
the occupation of a considerable amount 
of Russian territory by German troops. 
While it was generally known that the 
personnel and morale of the Germans 
on the eastern front were considerably 
lower than on the western front, never- 
theless the German Command hoped to 
build up from eastern material about 
59 or 60 divisions of 12,000 men each. 
This would increase the fighting 
strength on the western front by about 
700,000 men. About the middle of Feb- 
ruary according to a French official 
statement it was estimated that there 
were already on the western front 



82 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



2,100,000 men and that further incre- 
ments from the east and from new re- 
cruits would bring the highest total of 
men available to 2,340,000 men. This 
total would approximately equal the to- 
tal number of men France and England 
had available. American, Belgian, and 
Portuguese troops practically assured 
the Allies a numerical superiority over 
the whole front although not necessarily 
in any one sector. Any numerical ad- 
vantage that the Allies possessed was 
more than counterbalanced by the su- 
periority of the German railway sys- 
tems. The Germans were fighting on in- 
terior lines and the Allies on exterior 
lines. The German railway system may 
be likened to a huge wheel. All lines 
radiated from the hub and could feed 
any part of the rim (battle line), while 
on the other hand the Allies in order to 
supply their lines were compelled to 
travel around the outside of the rim, a 
much longer process. 

On the western front during the first 
ten weeks of the year the fighting con- 
sisted of a series of almost unending 
trench and aerial raids, carried out for 
the purposes of reconnaissances. Some- 
times the trench raids would follow 
heavy bombardments, but generally 
speaking they were carried out by small 
patrols under cover of darkness. The 
Germans with varying success carried 
out raids in Flanders, Artois, Picardy, 
the Verdun sector, Champagne, and 
Lorraine, with the evident intention of 
ferreting out the weak points of the 
allied line for the much heralded offen- 
sive on the western front. The purpose 
of the allied raids was to discover, if 
possible, the places on the German lines 
where any unusual concentrations were 
being made. The aerial raids to a large 
extent were carried out over the Rhine 
and Moselle river valleys, where it was 
known that the troops transported from 



the eastern front were being refitted for 
service on the western front. 

The American troops, which had been 
pouring into France in an ever increas- 
ing stream, and which had been grad- 
ually concentrating in camps at Toul 
and Nancy, had finally reached the 
stage of training when they were ready 
to take over a section of the battle line. 
The sector allotted to them was about 
eight miles long and was on the south- 
ern side of the St. Mihiel salient, which 
had been established by the Germans, 
advancing from Metz, in 1914, and 
which had withstood several attempts 
on the part of the French to "pinch" 
it. The American line was roughly be- 
tween Flirey and Remenauville on the 
east and Apremont on the west. The 
Germans lost no time in trying out the 
new American forces by means of heavy 
bombardments of high explosives and 
gas shells. 

The Second Battle of Picardy. — On 
March 21, 1918, came the great blow 
which the German press and public had 
been so continually prophesying since 
the collapse of Russia and Rumania. 
The German plan was based upon sound 
military strategy. It recalls to mind 
the famous campaign carried on by Na- 
poleon in Italy in 1796-97. Napoleon 
at the head of an army which had just 
crossed the Alps found himself facing 
superior forces composed of Austrians 
and Sardinians. He struck at Mon- 
tenotte, the point where the two enemy 
armies joined, forced his way through, 
rolled up the Sardinian army on its 
base and compelled Sardinia to sign a 
separate peace. Then he faced and 
conquered Austria. The German con- 
ception was strikingly similar. It was 
to strike the Anglo-French line where 
the two armies joined, break through 
and reach the channel ports, and thus 
either confine the British, Belgian, and 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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Portuguese armies in the narrow region 
between the Somme and the Belgian bor- 
der or drive them into the sea, and then 
turn their attention southward to the 
French armies and make a direct ad- 
vance on Paris. This attack was so 
timed as to offset any increase to the 
allied force from the United States. 
The success of this scheme depended 
entirely on a complete breakthrough 
at the junction point of the British and 
French armies. A tremendous gap was 
made and for four or five days it ap- 
peared as though they were about to 
accomplish their purpose, but, fortu- 
nately for the Allies, it was closed in 
time to prevent a complete disaster. 

The front chosen for the attack was 
between Marcoing, near Cambrai, and 
the Oise river, and was held by the Brit- 
ish 5th army, under General Gough. 
This section of the battle line was taken 
over by the British from the French at 
the beginning of the year. The 5th 
army was composed of about 14 divi- 
sions or roughly 170,000 men, which 
had to protect a line about 50 miles 
long. It is difficult to understand why 
this particular section of the line was 
held so lightly. This inadequate force 
was attacked by a force composed of 
between 40 and 50 divisions, amounting 
to approximately 750,000 men, about 
150,000 of which were concentrated be- 
tween St. Quentin and La Fere. It is 
scarcely to be wondered at that the 
British army was brushed aside by such 
a superiority of men, and by the dogged 
determination on the part of the Ger- 
mans to get through at any cost. 

The line held by the British was very 
carefully constructed and admirably 
suited to defense by a force compara- 
tively inferior to the attacking force. 
It really consisted of three separate de- 
fensive positions, an outpost line, a re- 
sistance line, and then in case these were 



penetrated, a battle line, where the main 
battle was to be fought. The outposts 
were so arranged that a terrible enfilad- 
ing fire could be poured into the Ger- 
mans as soon as they penetrated this 
outpost line. The German armies fac- 
ing the battle line were under the su- 
preme command of Crown Prince Rup- 
precht of Bavaria, and the individual 
armies under the leadership of von 
Below, von der Marwitz, and von 
Hutier. The plan of attack was drawn 
up by the last named general. 

The weather favored the Germans to 
a very large extent. The attack was 
begun a little before 5 o'clock on the 
morning; of the 21st under the cover of 
such a heavy fog and mist that it was 
impossible to see more than 100 feet 
ahead. General Gough knew from docu- 
ments taken from German prisoners 
that the assault was impending and had 
made preparation to meet it, but his 
preparations were practically nullified 
by the weather conditions. The first 
line of defense, i. e. the outpost line, 
was taken before the British were cogni- 
zant of the fact that the attack had 
begun. The tremendous superiority of 
numbers forced the resistance line very 
quickly and enabled the Germans to 
rush up to the battle line, or last system 
of defense. Here again the inequality 
of numbers ultimately told and the Ger- 
man armies forced their way through 
where some of Gough's divisions joined. 
Apparently the British had made no 
provisions for a breakthrough, because 
there were no defense positions behind 
the third defense system. The road to 
Amiens seemed opened and only heroic 
efforts saved it. 

As has been stated above, the terrific 
battle of Picardy began shortly before 
5 a. m. on March 21. It was preceded 
by a brief but very intense artillery fire 
which was composed mainly of high ex- 



84 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



plosives and gas shells. Simultaneously 
a heavy artillery fire broke out in the 
Champagne and Lorraine sectors with 
the obvious purpose of preventing the 
bringing up of reinforcements to the 
vital places attacked. The Germans 




From Current History Magazine, published by the 
New York Times Co. 

Shaded Portions Show Total Gains of the 
Great German Offensive. The Numerals 
Indicate the Sequence of the Four Battles 
or Phases. The Drive on the Somme was 
Launched March 21, that in Flanders 
April 9, the Champagne Drive May 27, and 
the Offensive on the Oise June 9. 



also bombarded Paris with a long range 
gun placed in the forest of St. Gobain, 
approximately 75 miles away. This 
gun killed many civilians and did much 
material damage in Paris, but instead 
of causing the Parisians to become 
panicky, it seemed to renew their grim 
determination to carry on. The battle 
line of the German offensive extended 
from southeast of Arras in the direction 



of Cambrai, as far as La Fere. The 
first infantry attack broke through the 
first and second lines of British trenches 
on a 16-mile front from Lagnicourt to 
just south of Gouzeaucourt. The re- 
sult of this attack was the evacuation 
of the British positions in the salient 
that remained after the battle of Cam- 
brai at the close of 1917. On the 22nd, 
the Germans after more heavy artillery 
preparation smashed through the entire 
British position along the whole front. 
The British 5th army was now com- 
pletely cut off from the permanent 
French position at La Fere and the per- 
manent British positions at Arras. Be- 
tween these two points there was a 
struggling mass of humanity with prac- 
tically no organization as far as the 
Allies were concerned. The Teutonic 
armies were advancing along the road 
to Peronne and Albert, along the direct 
route from St. Quentin to Amiens, and 
down the Oise river valley along two 
roads, one of which led to Paris and the 
other to the south of Amiens. For four 
days it seemed certain that the German 
plan was to succeed and a permanent 
wedge inserted between the French and 
the British armies. On the 23rd the 
British were defeated near Monchy, St. 
Quentin, La Fere, and opposite Cam- 
brai, and the British second positions 
between Fontaine les Croiselles and 
Moeuvres were penetrated. The Allies 
hoped to be able to hold the line of the 
Somme, but were unable to do so be- 
cause no adequate defenses had been 
constructed there. On the 24th the 
Germans took Peronne, Chauny, and 
Ham, and crossed the Somme river at 
various points south of the first men- 
tioned place, by means of a pontoon 
bridge and rafts. The British were 
unable to completely destroy the bridge 
because of the haste with which they 
were withdrawing their artillery. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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Continuing to advance on the 25th, 
the Germans captured Bapaume, Nesle, 
Etalon, Barleux, Biaches, and Guis- 
card. On this day the French War 
Office announced that British lines south 
of St. Quentin and around Noyon had 
been taken over by a French army, thus 
showing that at last the Allies were 
making some successful attempts to 
stem the tide of invasion. On the 26th, 
the Germans crossed the old battle line 
of 1916 in several places and captured 
Noyon, Roye, and Lihon. The 26th 
was the decisive day of the Battle of 
Picardy. This day saw the closing of 
the gap caused by the breakthrough of 
the 21st. The French came up along 
the southern front from the Oise to the 
Avre, and west of the Avre, where they 
united with the British at Moreiul. 
The 26th also saw the organization of 
a new British army under General San- 
deman Carey, who had received orders 
to hold a gap made by the Germans. 
With rare judgment and skill he impro- 
vised an army from sappers, laborers, 
engineers, in fact anybody he could find, 
and with this cosmopolitan army faced 
the Germans for six days, fighting over 
unknown ground, and with officers in 
charge of men they had never seen 
before. 

A word should be mentioned here of 
the method used by the Germans to re- 
lieve men who were exhausted by con- 
stant attacking or shot to pieces by the 
heroic British resistance. Reserve di- 
visions were kept directly behind the 
battle line and when advanced divisions 
needed replacement, the reserves were 
passed through the forward divisions, 
and the latter were rested and reformed, 
and then they became the reserve. By 
this means the Germans were able to 
continually present fresh men to the 
British, who had been fighting without 
rest or relief since the tremendous battle 



began. Another thing to be noticed 
about this battle was the ease with which 
the Germans were able to manoeuvre 
their attacking columns. The attack 
was made with three or four columns of 
several divisions each, and when they 
were stopped in one direction they were 
able to turn without loss of power in 
another direction. As most of the new 
ideas worked out in this battle were de- 
vised by von Hutier, this plan of attack 
became known as the von Hutier 
method. Many of its features were 
later adopted by the Allies. 

The 27th saw the first perceptible 
signs of the slowing up of the German 
forward movement. The British, now 
reinforced, checked the Germans, and 
recaptured Morlancourt and Chipilly 
north of the Somme, and advanced to 
Proyart south of the Somme. These 
gains were offset, however, by the cap- 
ture of Albert and the crossing of the 
Ancre river north and south of that 
city, and forcing of the French back- 
wards east of Montdidier. The 28th saw 
the fall of Montdidier, but it also saw 
the complete repulse of a tremendous 
German attack on Arras. The artillery 
preparation was terrific and the Ger- 
mans' orders were not only to take the 
city but Vimy Ridge also, at all costs. 
The Germans used about 20 divisions 
in this huge effort, and after suffering 
appalling losses, which materially re- 
duced their numbers, were compelled to 
give up the attempt, after an all day 
battle which equalled in intensity any- 
thing that the war had produced. 

The German effort had now almost 
spent itself and the German High Com- 
mand found itself caught in a rather 
difficult position. The Germans had 
pushed a 35-mile salient towards 
Amiens, which was quite narrow at its 
extreme tip. The northern side of the 
salient was bounded roughly by the 



86 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Ancre river, and the southern side by 
the Avre. These water barriers were, 
comparatively speaking, no protection 
to the French and British, but the high 
ground on the allied sides was an ideal 
spot for artillery emplacements, which 
commanded all the German positions in 
the tip of the salient. The German 
problem was to break the sides of this 
wedge and broaden the salient or face 
a possible disaster. The attempt at 
Arras, as has been noted above, failed. 
During the first week of April tremen- 
dous assaults were made from Albert at 
the Ancre line on the north, and on the 
Avre line from Grivesnes to north of 
the Amiens-Roye road on the south. 
Although local successes were gained by 
the Germans, they failed in their main 
purpose, i. e., breaking the lines of the 
Avre and the Ancre and widening the 
salient. The chief reason for this was 
the time element, which had permitted 
the British and French to bring up men 
and guns and thus to stabilize their 
lines. Another contributory cause was 
the fact that a heavy rain had turned 
the Somme battlefield into a desolate 
sea of mud, and hindered the Germans' 
transportation of men, munitions, and 
supplies. 

The failure during the first week of 
April to smash the sides of the Amiens 
salient ended what might be called the 
Second Battle of the Somme as well as 
the Battle of Picardy. As to results 
the main German plan was frustrated. 
The French and British were still united 
and held strong defensive positions. 
The Germans had taken practically all 
the ground they held at the beginning 
of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, 
and some more besides, approximately 
1,500 square miles. A report from Ber- 
lin stated that 90,000 prisoners, 1,300 
guns, and 100 tanks had been captured. 
The British maintained that these fig- 



ures were too high, but to neutral critics 
and observers they seem approximately 
correct. Both sides suffered severe 
losses. A conservative estimate would 
place the German casualties at a quar- 
ter of a million men, while the Allies' 
were probably 50,000 less. Most of the 
Allies' losses were borne by the British. 
Ferdinand Foch — Allied Commander- 
in-Chief. — The terrific blow struck at 
the British 5th army on the 21st of 
March, with the subsequent demoraliza- 
tion and almost complete defeat of the 
Allies, compelled them to take a step, 
which up to this time they had been 
loath to do. That was to appoint one 
man as the leader of all the Allied 
armies. It is idle to speculate on what 
might have happened if this had been 
done previously? but many critics have 
stated that the great March disaster 
would have been avoided under a unified 
command. On November 12, 1917, 
after the creation of the Supreme War 
Council, Lloyd George said concerning 
it, "... The Italian disaster necessi- 
tated action without delay to repair it. 
... It is true we sent troops to Saloniki 
to succor Serbia, but as always they 
were sent too late. Half the men who 
fell in the vain effort to pierce the 
Western Front in September that year 
would have saved Serbia, saved the Bal- 
kans, and completed the blockade of 
Germany . . . 1915 was the year of the 
Serbian tragedy; 1916 was the year of 
the Rumanian tragedy, which was a 
repetition of the Serbian story almost 
without change. . . . National and pro- 
fessional traditions, questions of pres- 
tige and susceptibilities, all conspired to 
render our best decisions vain. . . . The 
war has been prolonged by particular- 
ism. It will be shortened by solidarity." 
(See above.) These words seemed to 
point to a unified command, but Lloyd 
George was compelled to go back on 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



87 



them, because the British General Staff, 
which was opposed to the scheme, was 
too influential with the British public 
and Parliament. The move was charac- 
terized as an attempt to subordinate 
the military to the political leaders. 
But Allied failure on the western front, 
such as at Cambrai, the collapse of 
Italy and the colossal defeat just suf- 
fered by the British arms, converted the 
British public to Lloyd George's point 
of view. 

Ever since the United States entered 
the war, President Wilson had argued 
unity of command as well as the pooling 
of all the resources of the Allies. When 
the Germans struck in March, General 
Pershing offered the small American 
forces in France to the Allies for use in 
any way they saw fit, either to be used 
as an independent unit or to be broken 
up and brigaded with the British or the 
French. This act on the part of the 
American commander finally overruled 
the last objections on the part of the 
British Staff. General Foch, whose 
ability, achievements, and popularity, 
in the allied countries, eminently fitted 
him for the task, was named commander- 
in-chief of all the Allied armies. His 
first statement was an assurance that 
Amiens would not fall. In all the coun- 
tries involved he was heartily welcomed 
as the savior of the world by the press 
and the public. Painleve's words 
spoken at the same time as those of 
Lloyd George, quoted above, now be- 
came an actuality. "A single front, a 
single army, a single nation — that is the 
programme requisite for future vic- 
tory." 

The Battle of the Lys River. — As has 
been stated above the German High 
Command found itself, during the first 
week of April, in a rather dangerous 
salient from which it was unable to ex- 
tricate itself. A stable position had 



been reached by the Allies, and, if they 
were to be driven back, considerable 
more men and guns than the Germans 
had brought along with them on their 
35-mile advance would be necessary. 
Possibly as a result of the von Hutier 
idea of changing the direction of the 
attack or possibly as a result of the 
check they received before Amiens, the 
Germans suddenly launched an attack 
between the high ground north of Ypres 
and Arras. The main part of the at- 
tack was aimed between the first men- 
tioned positions and La Bassee, astride 
the Lys River. The Teutonic strategy 
was practically the same as that used in 
the Battle of Picardy. Instead of try- 
ing to separate the French from the 
British, the plan was to separate the 
British army at Ypres from that at 
Arras, and then roll up each part and 
reach the channel ports. A successful 
breakthrough would mean that the 
British army at Arras would be almost 
automatically thrown back upon the 
British and French armies that had re- 
treated during the great March offen- 
sive. Apparently the Germans hoped 
to create a gap in the British forces 
under the command of General Home, 
as they had done in Gough's 5th army 
the previous month, and then pour 
through the gap and spread out. This 
was another feature of the von Hutier 
method of attack. This was usually 
accomplished by concentrating a huge 
mass of men on a relatively small front. 
A breakthrough of any size would seri- 
ously imperil the channel ports, inas- 
much as the British had scarcely 40 
miles to manoeuvre in. An advance 
similar to that before Amiens would 
have resulted in the capture of Calais, 
one of the chief bases of supply of the 
British armies. The chief objectives of 
the first German thrust were Bethune, 
Bailleul, and Hazebrouck. The last 



88 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



named place was a little over 15 miles 
from the starting place of the attack, 
and if captured meant the fall of Ypres 
and the dislocation of the entire railway 
line behind the British and Belgian 
armies. 

On April 9, the German High Com- 
mand struck at a portion of the line be- 
tween Estaires and Bac St. Maur, held 
by a Portuguese division, and smashed 
it completely, capturing Richebourcq- 
St. Vaast and Laventie. This attack 
created a gap of about three miles in 
the British lines and through this open- 
ing German troops began to pour and 
spread out in ever increasing numbers. 
On the 10th, the Germans crossed the 
Lys river at several points between 
Estaires and Armentieres, and launched 
a terrific assault at the base of Mes- 
sines Ridge, which resulted in the cap- 
ture of the village and forest of Ploeg- 
steert. These movements caused the 
fall of Armentieres, which had been en- 
circled', and its garrison, amounting to 
several thousand men. Attempts to 
take Givenchy and Festubert in the 
La Bassee sector were frustrated after 
a day of bitter fighting (the 11th). On 
the same day the Germans launched an 
attack all along the front from La 
Bassee to the Ypres-Comines Canal and 
took Estaires and Steenwerck. The 
Teutons as in their previous offensive 
were making rapid advances in the cen- 
tre toward Hazebrouck, but were 
checked by the defenses around the 
wings at Ypres and Arras. Unless one 
or the other of these wings could be 
pierced the German advance was bound 
to be stopped before it could reach its 
rrtain objective at Hazebrouck. On the 
12th, Merville was taken and by the 
next day the Germans were only five 
miles from Hazebrouck. The serious- 
ness of the British position may be 
gathered from General Haig's statement 



to his troops on April 12. "... Many 
among us are now tired. To those I 
would say that victory will belong to 
the side which holds out the longest. 
. . . Every position must be held to the 
last man. There must be no retirement. 
With our backs to the wall, and believ- 
ing in the justice of our cause, each one 
of us must fight to the end. The safety 
of our homes and the freedom of man- 
kind depend alike upon the conduct of 
each one of us at this critical moment." 

On the 14th, it appeared that the 
German offensive had slowed up. They 
were held on both wings and in the cen- 
tre of the salient, the British making a 
particularly desperate resistance at 
Neuve Eglise. The Allies, however, met 
with severe reverses on the 15th. The 
heroic defenders of Neuve Eglise were 
forced out and a terrific assault towards 
Bailleul and Wulverghem resulted in the 
capture of Bailleul, Wytschaete, and 
Spanbroekmolen. On the 17th, the 
British after a bitter attack recaptured 
Wytschaete, but were almost immedi- 
ately driven out again. On this same 
day the Germans occupied Poelcappelle, 
Langemarck, and Passchendaele, which 
the British were compelled to evacuate, 
in order to escape the dangers of a 
salient, the base of supplies of which 
was nearer to the Germans than to the 
British themselves. 

The capture of Wytschaete placed 
the British positions around Ypres in 
a very precarious situation. Messines 
Ridge on which this was located domi- 
nated all the British positions in Ypres 
and overlooked the means of communi- 
cation with that city. The capture of 
Messines Ridge and the consequent pos- 
sibility of cutting off Ypres, further 
seriously endangered the British posi- 
tions on Passchendaele Ridge, which had 
been captured by the British at a tre- 
mendously heavy cost (estimated at 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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500,000 men) in the closing months of 
1917. (See above.) In order to pre- 
vent a serious catastrophe the British 
retired to a line that ran from Bix- 
schoote to the neighborhood of Zonne- 
beke. As noted above the British failed 
to re-take Mcssines Ridge on the 17th. 
This failure compelled them to give up 
more ground, so that on the 18th their 
positions were almost identical with 
those they held after the first Battle of 
Ypres in 1914. The surrender of this 
territory was a terrible blow to British 
morale and pride. The first and second 
Battles of Ypres had made that city, in 
the eyes of all Englishmen, what Ver- 
dun was to the Frenchmen. The slo- 
gan, "They shall not pass," applied to 
both historic cities. While it is true 
that Ypres did not fall it was certainly 
on the verge of falling several times. 
Later events, however, proved that the 
resultant shortening of the British lines 
strengthened their general position. 
On the 18th and 19th the British lines, 
both new and old, held everywhere, and 
French reserves had arrived and were 
immediately in action in the neighbor- 
hood of BailleuL 

The Germans, checked for the time 
being in the north, made a heavy assault 
on Villers Bretonneux, southeast of 
Amiens, on the 24th. With the aid of a 
number of tanks (used for the first time 
since the great offensive began), they 
captured the village. At the same time 
just south of this French and American 
forces were compelled to abandon an 
unimportant salient near Hangard, in 
the valley of the Luce river. 

Mount Kemmel, which seemed to be 
the only remaining key to the Ypres 
salient, was the scene of extremely bit- 
ter fighting from April 24th to the 
27th. The Germans, prodigal of men 
as at Verdun, made frontal and flank 
attacks on the positions, until by sheer 



weight of men and metal, they compelled 
the British and French to relinquish the 
height, as well as the villages of Kemmel 
and Dranoutre. Hundreds of French- 
men refused to retreat and fought until 
they were killed, wounded or captured. 
The foggy weather again permitted the 
Germans to creep up to the allied po- 
sitions before they were discovered. It 
is stated that the losses suffered by Gen- 
eral von Arnim's army were so great 
that he was unable to follow up the 
fruits of his victory. Ypres did not 
fall as was expected because of the fail- 
ure on the part of the Germans to cap- 
ture Mont Rouge, Mont des Cats, 
Scherpenberg, and several other hills 
that belonged to the same range as 
Mount Kemmel. Heavy attacks in the 
neighborhood of Voormezelle, Scherpen- 
berg, and Mont Rouge, were repulsed 
with such heavy losses that von Arnim 
was compelled to intrench and accept 
a defensive attitude. As a result, be- 
fore fighting died down on this front 
about the middle of May, the French 
and British won local successes between 
Locre and Dranoutre (May 5) and 
Hill 44, north of Kemmel (May 12). 
German offensives toward Bethune and 
south of Dickebusch Lake not only 
failed, but were followed by Allied 
counter-attacks which won back consid- 
erable ground. Thus ended the second 
great German thrust. It failed to ac- 
complish its purpose, although approxi- 
mately 800 square miles of French and 
Belgian territory were occupied. The 
significant fact that remained after 
these two German attempts to gain a 
decision, was, that the 15-mile front be- 
tween Lens and Arras held. This pre- 
vented the Germans from broadening 
their salients and thus, in a sense, lim- 
ited the depth of their penetration, in- 
asmuch as a narrow salient is constant- 
ly in danger of being "pinched." 



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A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The Forcing of the Aisne and the 
Marne. — As has been stated above, the 
purpose of the second great German of- 
fensive was to broaden the Picardy 
salient on its northern side so that the 
tip could be made wider and thus per- 
mit the centre to advance. The fact 
that the defensive around Arras, par- 
ticularly Vimy Ridge, and around 
Ypres, particularly Mont Rouge, held 
against all assaults, forced the Germans 
to turn to the southern side of the 
Picardy salient and attempt to widen 
it there. Although their initial suc- 
cesses were great, they failed to achieve 
their object and merely created a new 
salient similar to those before Amiens 
and in the vicinity of Ypres. From the 
point of view of attrition, the third of- 
fensive, which reached the Marne at 
Chateau-Thierry, was really an allied 
victory, inasmuch as no real strategical 
gain resulted, despite the sacrifice of 
great numbers of men and a vast quan- 
tity of material. The Germans struck 
on a 30-mile front, which was later ex- 
tended 20 miles further in the direction 
of Noyon. When the offensive ended 
they had penetrated 30 miles, but their 
fighting front had been reduced to six 
miles. Attempts to broaden this failed, 
and a salient, dangerous for the Ger- 
mans, was formed. 

A few days previous to the beginning 
of the Battle of the Aisne heavy artil- 
lery fire in the Picardy and Ypres sali- 
ents seemed to presage an attack in 
those localities. When the real direc- 
tion of the attack was revealed and the 
Germans forced the Chemin des Dames 
positions and the Aisne river with com- 
parative ease, many critics believed that 
Marshal Foch had been out-generalled 
and out-manoeuvred. Later events 
proved that he had adopted the best 
course of action, because, while he could 
doubtlessly have held these positions at 



great cost, he achieved far better results 
by permitting the Germans to ad- 
vance in the centre, while holding them 
on the wings, thus placing them in a 
vulnerable position. 

On the 27th of May the third Ger- 
man offensive began. As in the previ- 
ous two, great concentrations of men 
and material were made by the Ger- 
mans with comparative ease, and ap- 
parently without the knowledge of the 
allies. The ability to concentrate large 
forces on a comparatively limited front 
was due to the fact that the Germans, 
not only were fighting on interior lines, 
but had a railway system which radi- 
ated like the spokes of a wheel from the 
hub to the rim. The Allies had to 
travel all around the rim before they 
could even bring up reinforcements. A 
three-hour artillery preparation, com- 
posed mainly of gas with a sprinkling 
of high explosives, preceded the infan- 
try attack. The attacking force com- 
prised 250,000 of the best fighting men 
in the German army. The British and 
French defenders consisted of between 
50,000 and 75,000 men. The attack 
was on a 40-mile front from around 
Vauxaillon, near the Ailette, to Rheims. 
The chief attack was near Craonne and 
its purpose was to outflank the Chemin 
des Dames, in case it could not be taken 
by frontal assault. The entire Chemin 
des Dames line was overrun on the 27th, 
and the Allies retreated across the Aisne 
between Vailly and Berry-au-Bac, a dis- 
tance of 18 miles, in relatively good or- 
der. On the 28th, the Germans drove 
forward about six miles on a 9-mile 
front, between Vauxaillon and Cauroy, 
took about 20 towns and villages, 
crossed the Aisne and Vesle rivers, and 
reached Fismes on the southern bank 
of the latter river. The allies were fall- 
ing back in the centre, but on the 
Rheims side they held the Thillois- 



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Savigny-Brouillet line which protected 
the city. An attempt was made to do 
the same on the western side to protect 
Soissons, but the line failed to hold. 
The same day also saw the end of the 
German assaults in the Ypres and 
Picardy sectors, which were intended to 
divert attention from the main battle. 
The Allies recovered their lines on the 
Lys-Ypres front east of Dickebusch 
Lake and the Americans took Cantigny, 
near Montdidier, after a brilliant as- 
sault, and held it against several strong 
counter-attacks. 

On the 29th, Soissons fell after an 
extremely heavy bombardment of high 
explosive and incendiary shells. Bitter 
street fighting occurred in which the 
French were, at first, uniformly success- 
ful, but as German reinforcements were 
continually arriving, they were finally 
compelled to retire. Soissons, an un- 
fortified city, was a smoking ruin. On 
the 30th, the Germans continued their 
advance in the centre but were checked 
on the flanks. They captured Fere-en- 
Tardenois and Vezilly, and forced the 
Allies back on Rheims, but in the west 
were held along the Soissons-Chateau- 
Thierry highroad. They succeeded in 
wiping out the salient south of Noyon 
from the Oise canal to Soissons. The 
31st saw an 8-mile drive to the Marne, 
which was reached on a 6-mile front 
from Chateau-Thierry to Dormans. 
Attempts in the next few days to 
broaden this front, particularly in the 
direction of Epernay, were severely re- 
pulsed. 

On June 1st, the Germans began to 
widen this salient to the westward. 
They pushed six miles in that direction 
along the Ourcq, a tributary of the 
Marne. This push brought them be- 
yond Neuilly and Chony, and reached 
Nouvron and Fontenoy northwest of 
Soissons. A heavy assault against 



Rheims, with the intention of smashing 
the eastern side of the salient, was se- 
verely checked before it made any head- 
way. The tide of battle was now slowly 
but surely swinging to the side of the 
Allies. Although the Germans had al- 
most half a million men across the 
Aisne, General Foch, by calling on 
British, French, Italian, and American 
reserves, presented at least an equal 
number to them. On the next day 
French counter-attacks in force slowed 
up the German drive westward. The 
latter captured Troesnes, Longport, 
Corey, and Faverolles, but were almost 
immediately thrown out again after ex- 
tremely bitter fighting. Faverolles 
changed hands several times, but ulti- 
mately remained in the hands of the 
Allies. On the 3rd, the Germans gained 
slightly west of Nouvron and Fontenoy 
and advanced a short distance west of 
Chateau-Thierry. 

The German advance had now prac- 
tically stopped and during the next few 
days, the French, with the assistance of 
the Americans, not only stopped the 
Germans, but drove them back in the 
neighborhood of Chateau-Thierry. On 
June 6, Franco-American troops ad- 
vanced nearly a mile in the vicinity of 
Veuilly-la-Poterie, and American ma- 
rines advanced more than two miles on 
a 3-mile front northwest of Chateau- 
Thierry. On the next day Veuilly-la- 
Poterie was captured and the Ameri- 
cans took Torcy and Bouresches, which 
they held against strong counter as- 
saults. The subsequent activities of the 
Americans in this sector will be treated 
in the section dealing with the Battle 
of the Oise. On June 18, a terrific 
attack on Rheims, carried out by 
40,000 Germans, was completely 
crushed. This blow was similar to that 
against Arras during the first German 
offensive of the year. 



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A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The German War Office announced 
that they had taken 45,000 prisoners 
and 400 guns. They had occupied 650 
square miles of territory, had advanced 
a maximum depth of 30 miles, and cre- 
ated another salient with a narrow tip, 
only six miles along the Marne. No 
considerable strategical advantage had 
been gained, unless it be the fact that 
the Germans were now only 44 miles 
from Paris at the nearest point, instead 
of 62. The price paid, to gain what 
was merely a geographical advantage, 
was, conservatively, 110,000 men, killed, 
wounded, and captured. 

The Battle of the Oise. — The Battle 
of the Aisne and Marne left the Ger- 
mans in a very precarious position. 
The salient had to be widened, strongly 
fortified, or else, abandoned. The line 
from Chateau-Thierry was in the shape 
of a huge crescent with the bend facing 
towards the Germans. The German 
plan was to link up the Picardy salient 
with theMarne salient and thus wipe out 
the hufje bulge in their line and besides 
capture Compiegne, Compiegne Forest, 
and Villers Cotterets Forest, and then 
use the first mentioned place for a di- 
rect attack on Paris. The river valleys 
of the Aisne, Oise, Marne, and Ourcq 
would then be available for a converg- 
ing attack on Paris, the nerve centre of 
France. The strategy of the offensive 
was sound but its execution failed. In 
five days the Germans suffered their 
most ghastly failure of the whole war. 
This offensive lacked the element of sur- 
prise, which, undoubtedly, was the chief 
cause of the initial successes of the 
earlier offensives. The French com- 
mand had made a minute survey of the 
field and placed artillery and machine 
guns in such positions as to enfilade all 
avenues of attack. They also made 
provisions in case of initial German suc- 
cesses, to check their forward movement 



on second and third defense lines, as 
carefully prepared as the first. The 
French plan was to hold the front line 
lightly and resist the enemy on the com- 
bat lines, which were out of range of 
the German light artillery. 

The attack was preceded by a heavy 
artillery attack, again mainly composed 
of gas, which lasted from midnight un- 
til 4 :30 in the morning of the 9th of 

o 

June. The Germans endeavored to 
bombard the back areas of the French 
front, with the hope of breaking up the 
reserves, which were known to be con- 
centrated there. Following the policy 
adopted in the earlier offensives, heavy 
bombardments were carried out in the 
Picardy and Armentieres salients. The 
attack began at 4 :30 in the morning on 
a 20-mile front from Montdidier to 
Noyon. As in the previous battles the 
Germans advanced in the centre but 
were held on the flanks. The total ad- 
vance on the first day was 2% miles and 
was only attained after frightful losses. 
The Germans captured Ressons-sur- 
Matz and Mareuil-la-Motte. The 
French made a heavy counter-attack on 
the very first day between the Oise and 
the Aisne, which showed that the forces 
on both sides were nearly equal. On 
the next day the Germans advanced 
about three miles further and captured, 
after extremely bitter fighting, Mery, 
Belloy, and St. Maur. They also ad- 
vanced from Thiescourt wood. The 
Teuton penetration was now about five 
miles and this was approximately the 
depth of their entire advance. 

On the third day the Germans were 
compelled to bring up fresh divisions, 
and, with their aid, reached the Aronde 
river, a small stream on the western side 
of the battle line. They also advanced 
a mile along both banks of the Matz 
river and almost reached its junction 
with the Oise on its northern bank. On 



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the eastern end of the battle line, Ours- 
camps forest was enveloped. This day 
was the turning point of the battle, be- 
cause, before it was over, two French 
counter-attacks had driven the Germans 
back between Ribescourt and St. Maur, 
and recaptured Belloy, Senlis wood, 
and the heights between Mortemer and 
Courcelles. They also captured An- 
theuil, but were compelled to give up 
Ribescourt and some ground along the 
Oise, which was outflanked by the drive 
along the Matz. On the next day the 
French gained further ground between 
Belloy and St. Maur. The Germans 
forced a crossing of the Matz and oc- 
cupied Croix Ricard, Milicocq, and the 
heights around the latter place. On 
the 13th, the French again counter- 
attacked in force and drove the Ger- 
mans back across the Matz. They also 
advanced in the vicinity of Courcelles. 
This ended the German offensive which 
resulted in the using up of over 300,000 
German troops and the actual putting 
out of action of 80,000. 

A word should be mentioned here of 
the activities of the Franco-American 
troops in the neighborhood of Chateau- 
Thierry. On the 10th the American 
marines moved forward in the Belleau 
wood and by the next day had captured 
all of it. The Americans also crossed 
the Marne at Chateau-Thierry on 
scouting expeditions. In the Lys river 
sector the British checked the abortive 
German offensive carried out simultane- 
ous with the Battle of Oise and on June 
15 captured and held the German first- 
line trenches around Bethune. 

The Second Battle of the Marne. — 
On July 15, Ludendorff opened his fifth 
and what proved to be his last offen- 
sive of the year. It also proved to 
be the last German offensive of the 
war. It was under the personal direc- 
tion of the German Crown Prince and 



was called "Friedensturm" (peace of- 
fensive). The whole line attacked was 
roughly 60 miles long and extended 
from Chateau-Thierry to Dormans, 
around Rheims, and then east almost 
to the Argonne Forest. It is estimated 
that the German Crown Prince had 
more than 800,000 men available for 
this "peace offensive." The plan of at- 
tack was to encircle and capture Rheims 
by taking the Rheims mountains, and 
also to get control of the railway centre 
at Epernay, which would compel the 
French to give up the entire Champagne 
line, which was very strongly fortified, 
and thus leave the centre in a very vul- 
nerable position. 

The attack began at six o'clock on 
the morning of the 15th. The first blow 
was aimed at the Americans on both 
sides of Chateau-Thierry. The attack 
on Vaux was a mere diversion. The 
Germans crossed the Marne in force 
southeast of Chateau-Thierry between 
Fossoy and Mezy, compelling the Amer- 
icans to retire on Conde-en-Brie. Here 
a counter-attack was immediately or- 
ganized, which drove the Germans back 
across the river and left 1,500 prisoners 
in American hands. On other portions 
of the front the Germans were more 
successful. They crossed the Marne 
east of Dormans and advanced astride 
it in the direction of Epernay. At 
Bligny, southwest of Rheims, they pene- 
trated positions held by Italian troops, 
and thus threatened to get in the rear 
of Rheims. Southeast of Rheims, the 
Germans made a fierce attack east of 
Prunay, with the idea of squeezing out 
the city, in conjunction with the ad- 
vance at Bligny. General Gourand's 
troops put up a magnificent resistance 
and held the Germans to very slight 
gains after ?tiflicting appalling losses on 
them. 

On the 16th and 17th, further at- 



94 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



tacks against the American forces were 
checked almost before they had started, 
but the pockets around Bligny and 
Prunay southwest and southeast of 
Rheims, respectively, were deepened. 
Everywhere else the Germans were held 
or driven back by counter-attacks. The 
distance across the base of the Rheims 
salient was scarcely 10 miles, which 
shows the critical position this allied 
bulwark was in. The aspect of the en- 
tire front was changed on the 18th, 
when the French and Americans began 
an offensive from the Marne to the 
Aisne, which was highly successful, and 
which changed a dangerous situation 
for the Allies into a more dangerous one 
for the Germans. It is estimated that 
the Crown Prince in this "peace offen- 
sive" used 400,000 men, just one-half 
of those available, and that at the end 
of three days one-fourth of those em- 
ployed were on the casualty list. 

The "Pinching" of the Marne Salient. 
— Before the fifth German offensive was 
launched on July 15, Marshal Foch 
was considering a plan of counter- 
attack, drawn up by General Petain, 
in conference with Generals Fayolle, 
Mangin, and Degoutte. This plan was 
approved by Marshal Foch, and while 
the Crown Prince was attempting to 
encircle Rheims and cross the Marne 
the details were being worked out. As 
has been related above, various at- 
tempts to widen the Marne salient had 
failed. As a result of these failures, 
the salient was entirely too deep and 
narrow to be safe. The Foch plan was 
to strike on the western side of this 
salient, along the line between Soissons 
and Chateau-Thierry. The prepara- 
tions for this counter-attack were kept 
very secret. Vast quantities of supplies 
were stored up in the Villers-Cotterets 
forest, which lent itself admirably to the 
purpose. Great numbers of men of the 



army of manoeuvre (the existence of 
which the Germans doubted) were con- 
centrated in the ravines and valleys of 
this forest without detection by the 
enemy. 

For several weeks previous to the 
launching of the counter-offensive, 
small local attacks had prepared the 
way for the final assault. The Allies at- 
tacked on July 18 on a 28-mile front 
from Ambleny, west of Soissons, to 
Bouresches, northwest of Chateau- 
Thierry. It was made without artillery 
preparation, the advancing infantry be- 
ing protected by large numbers of tanks 
and a creeping barrage. The attack 
was made by Franco-American troops, 
the latter being most prominent in the 
Soissons and Chateau-Thierry regions. 
The blow took the Germans completely 
by surprise, and, as a result of it, and 
the vulnerability of the German lines, 
the Crown Prince and his armies were 
driven across the Vesle. The hinge of 
the entire German retirement was the 
high ground around Chaudon, south- 
west of Soissons. The first push net- 
ted the allies a six-mile advance to the 
Crise river, which runs around the 
Chaudun plateau and which joins the 
Aisne at Soissons. This brought Gen- 
eral Mangin and his Franco-American 
forces to within a mile of the city, but 
the German High Command continued 
to hurl in fresh divisions in this vicinity 
which effectually prevented the with- 
drawal from becoming a rout. The 
Allies also advanced from 2 to 3 miles 
astride the Ourcq, and the whole Ger- 
man line from Soissons to Chateau- 
Thierry began to retreat. Assaults 
carried out by British, Italian, and 
French troops, along the line from Cha- 
teau-Thierry to Rheims, won initial 
successes, but were unable to make a 
breakthrough similar to that on the 
western side. Ludendorff was practic- 



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ing Foch's strategy during the previ- 
ous drives, i. e., he was holding his 
wings while the centre retired. The 
Allies captured more than 16,000 
prisoners and 300 guns in the first two 
days. By the 20th all the German 
troops south of the Marne had been 
forced over to the other side. 

Chateau-Thierry was evacuated on 
the 21st, and on the same day Franco- 
American troops crossed the Marne and 
advanced four miles toward the Ourcq. 
On the next day Epieds was captured 
after several strong counter-attacks be- 
tween the Ourcq and the Marne had 
been repulsed. By the 23rd the entire 
Soissons - Chateau - Thierry highroad, 
with the exception of a small portion 
south of the city (Soissons), was in the 
hands of the Allies. On the eastern leg 
of the salient, the British and Italian 
troops were striving to break through. 
At Vrigny and Bouilly they achieved lo- 
cal successes, but were unable to make 
a hole big enough to threaten the rear 
of the enemy. They did keep many 
German divisions actively engaged 
which might otherwise have been used 
to stem the allied advance. So far the 
Allies had captured 25,000 prisoners 
and more than 400 guns. Added to 
these was a great amount of war ma- 
terial which the Crown Prince had gath- 
ered for his "peace offensive" of July 
18. On the 24th the Franco-American 
forces advanced two miles north of 
Chateau-Thierry and the British pene- 
trated the German lines in the neigh- 
borhood of Vrigny on the eastern leg of 
the salient. On the next day the Ger- 
mans made a heavy assault against the 
eastern leg, with the hopes of widening 
the salient, but they were thrown back 
everywhere. On this day the French 
captured Oulchy and, together with the 
Americans, occupied 40 square miles of 
territory. After a week of severe fight- 



ing, the Crown Prince was using every 
effort to extricate his armies in the best 
possible shape out of a salient the neck 
of which was scarcely 20 miles wide. 
A German counter-offensive was practi- 
cally out of the question. 

By the 27th the Germans were in full 
retreat and the Franco-Americans ad- 
vanced along the Ourcq toward Fere- 
en-Tardenois, which was captured the 
next day. On the 28th the Germans 
abandoned the line of the Ourcq, and 
the Allies crossed it from the south. 
On the eastern side of the salient the 
Allies crossed the Rheims-Dormans 
highway after bitter fighting. This 
threat to completely crush the Germans 
resulted in severe fighting in the vicinity 
of Vrigny and St. Euphraise. The ad- 
vance to the Vesle river was marked by 
extremely heavy fighting between the 
Prussian Guards and the American 
forces at Sergy and Seringes. The 
former place changed hands nine times 
and the latter five before remaining in 
the hands of the Americans. On the 
31st, the Germans made bitter but un- 
successful efforts to keep the Americans 
from Nesles Forest. On August 1 the 
allies struck on a 10-mile front north 
of Fere, penetrated two miles, captured 
the height north of Grand Rozoy, and 
advanced to Cramoiselles. This effec- 
tively broke the hinge around Soissons 
and enabled the French to enter the city 
on the 2nd after bitter street fighting. 
The advance on the 3rd was six miles 
deep in some places and recovered more 
than 50 villages, the most important of 
which was Fismes. The Germans were 
now completely behind the Aisne-Vesle 
line and made desperate attempts to 
hold the north bank of the latter river 
with the aid of the heavy artillery on 
the far side of the Aisne. The results 
of the first allied offensive of the year 
were enormous — 35,000 prisoners and 



96 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



more than 500 guns were in allied 
hands. They suffered comparatively 
slight losses. The Germans at home, 
as well as in the field, were convinced 
that their armies were not invincible. 
On the other hand, the Allies' morale 
was considerably heightened. 

The German Retreat to the Hinden- 
burg Line. — On August 8, 1918, Mar- 
shal Foch struck his second great blow. 
In many ways it resembled the Marne 
offensive. His aim was to "pinch" the 
over-extended salient in Picardy, reach- 
ing out toward Amiens. He was mak- 
ing his plans and preparations for this 
attack while the offensive was being 
carried out on the Marne. A series of 
local successes between Montdidier and 
Moreuii resulted in the capture of sev- 
eral admirable "jumping-off" places, 
such as Aubvillers and Sauvillers, which 
were located on the heights overlooking 
the Avre river. The immediate objec- 
tive was the railroad running from 
Peronne to Roye. 

The attack was on a front approxi- 
mately 30 miles long from Amiens to 
Montdidier. Later this front was ex- 
tended all the way to Soissons. The 
element of surprise was entirely with the 
Allies. The misty weather which ac- 
companied the opening of the attack 
was strikingly similar to that during 
the beginning of the German attack on 
March 21. The allied aircraft, ar- 
tillery and tanks, worked in complete 
harmony with the infantry. The Brit- 
ish under General Rawlinson struck the 
Germans under General von der Mar- 
witz before Moreuii and in three days 
drove them back 15 miles in some places 
and an average of 10 miles along the 
entire line. Most of the advance was 
on the plateau just south of the Somme 
river. During this time the French un- 
der General Debeney, who were sup- 
porting the right of the British, crossed 



the Avre river, in the face of an ex- 
tremely destructive artillery fire, and 
wiped out strong enemy positions, which 
threatened to flank Rawlinson's ad- 
vance. When he had accomplished this, 
he and Rawlinson began a concerted ad- 
vance in the general direction of the 
Hindenburg Line. On the 13th, Mont- 
didier fell and the French advanced six 
miles on a 13-mile front. In the north 
the British with the aid of a few Amer- 
icans captured Morlancourt and Chip- 
ply ridge and advanced on Bray. The 
Germans had retreated by the 18th to 
the Albert-Chaulnes-Roye-Lassigny line 
and had lost most of the Lassigny pla- 
teau. The line bears a striking resem- 
blance to the old Somme battlefront be- 
for the big British offensive in July, 
1916. On the 13th the French struck 
between the Oise and the Matz rivers 
and captured Canny-sur-Matz. This 
blow also threatened Noyon, since that 
place was dominated by the artillery 
along the banks of the Oise. 

On August 20, General Mangin, with 
the aid of American troops, launched 
an offensive from the Oise, near Ribe- 
court, to the Aisne, near Soissons. 
This was a part of Foch's plan to keep 
the whole line in action so that the 
German High Command would have 
great difficulty in bringing up reserves. 
Probably it was the activity of the 
Franco-Americans from Montdidier to 
Rheims that enabled the British to make 
such huge strides to the Hindenburg 
Line without suffering severe losses. 
The object of Mangin's blow was to se- 
cure the control of the plateau between 
the two rivers. On the 21st La Pom- 
meraye was taken and the French in 
this vicinity had reached the front held 
before the Chemin des Dames offensive. 
Ten thousand prisoners fell into the 
hands of the Franco-American troops. 
On the same day Lassigny fell and the 



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Germans evacuated Ourscamps forest, 
which was outflanked by the advance 
on both sides of the Oise. On the 23rd, 
the French advanced seven miles along 
the front from Lassigny to north of 
Soissons. They captured several vil- 
lages and crossed the Ailette river. On 
the 23rd, the Third French Army 
crossed the Divette river, near Evri- 
court, and General Mangin's Tenth 
Army crossed the Oise river and the 
Oise canal at Manicamp, eight miles 
east of Noyon, and reached the out- 
skirts of Morlincourt, which seriously 
threatened the entire Noyon salient. 

Roye fell on the 27th, Chaulnes on 
the 28th, and Noyon on the 29th. The 
operation which resulted in the capture 
of Chaulnes drove forward eight miles 
and made it certain that the German 
retreat could not stop short of the Hin- 
denburg Line. The fall of Noyon was 
followed by the French gaining a foot- 
hold on Mt. St. Simeon, northeast of 
that city. This position held up the 
French advance up the Oise, in the 
direction of La Fere, 12 miles away. 
They also crossed the Oise at Morlin- 
court and captured Beaurains and 
Quesnoy wood. 

On the 30th, Mt. St. Simeon was 
completely occupied, and the Franco- 
Americans captured Juvigny, a small 
town north of Soissons, which was of 
great strategic importance because it 
controlled the Juvigny plateau. The 
entire line of the Roye-Noyon-Soissons 
railway was now in the hands of the 
Allies. During the next five days the 
Franco-Americans saw bitter fighting, 
but nevertheless made advances of an 
extremely important nature. They 
gained a strong foothold on the Sois- 
sons-St. Quentin highway, by the cap- 
ture of Terny-Serny. This highway is 
on the plateau running along the north- 
ern bank of the Aisne. In conjunction 



with this advance on and from the 
Juvigny plateau the French made rapid 
progress up the Ailette river and cap- 
tured Crecy-au-Mont and Leury (Sept. 
1). The result of this drive between 
the Oise and the Aisne in the neigh- 
borhood of Soissons was to outflank the 
German positions on the Vesle. Conse- 
quently, on Sept. 4, the Germans be- 
gan a hasty retreat on a 20-mile front 
from the river, setting fire to ammuni- 
tion dumps and other supplies that they 
could not take away with them. Their 
retreat was covered by the heavy ar- 
tillery on the north bank of the Aisne 
and the Chemin des Dames. Franco- 
American troops forced a crossing of 
the Vesle on the very first day of the 
retreat and captured Blanzy, Chas- 
semy, Vauxcere, Branelle, and Bucy-le- 
Long. By the eighth, the Allied troops 
were fighting around Villers-en-Prayeres 
and Revillon. By the middle of the 
month, the Germans were everywhere 
thrust behind the Aisne in the region as 
far as Vailly. The French now began 
preparations to make a direct assault 
on the St. Gobain forest and the west- 
ern end of the Chemin des Dames. Laon 
could be seen in the distance. 

In the meantime the other French 
armies operating just south of the 
Somme river were making rapid strides 
toward the Hindenburg Line. On Sep- 
tember 4, the French gained northeast 
of Noyon and forced the Germans to 
beat a hasty retreat over the territory 
between the Canal du Nord and the 
Oise. On the 6th, Ham and Chauny 
fell, and the French advanced 6 miles in 
some places east of the Canal du Nord. 
During the next few days they made 
slow progress astride the Oise in the di- 
rection of La Fere. When the fighting 
slowed down the French and Americans 
were practically in the positions held 
by the French before the Hindenburg 



98 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



line previous to the huge offensive of 
March 21. 

The beginning of this section related 
that General Rawlinson smashed the 
southern side of the Amiens salient by 
striking from Albert to Montdidier. 
Foch gave the Germans no rest. Aft- 
er Rawlinson's blow had exhausted its 
possibilities, he hurled Byng's Third 
British army north of the Somme and 
took Bapaume, and when this blow ex- 
hausted its possibilities he hurled 
Home's First British army astride the 
Scarpe and actually broke the Hinden- 
burg Line, besides threatening Cambrai 
and Douai. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th Brit- 
ish armies were fighting north of the 
Bra} 7 , Peronne, St. Quentin line. The 
activities of the French and Americans 
south of that line have already been de- 
scribed. 

On August 21, Byng struck on a 10- 
mile front from the Ancre river to 
Moyenneville and took 7 villages. In 
the course of the next day's fighting the 
British captured Albert, after bitter 
street fighting, and advanced 2 miles 
on a 6-mile front. A similar gain was 
made the next day from Bray to the 
vicinity of Grandcourt, which resulted 
in the seizure of nine villages and an 
imminent threat to outflank Bapaume. 
On the 21th, the British captured Bray, 
on the Somme, 10 other towns, and the 
famous Thiepval ridge. It had taken 
approximately 3 months to take this 
position during the first Battle of the 
Somme (see above). The British swept 
on despite stiffening resistance and the 
utter disregard with which the Crown 
Prince of Bavaria hurled his reserves 
into the fray. Twelve more villages 
and the Albert-Bapaume highway were 
seized on the 25th. After steady pres- 
sure the Germans were compelled to give 
up Bapaume on the 29th, and to begin 
a retreat along 1 the whole line south- 



ward to Peronne and Brie on the 
Somme. Two days later the Austra- 
lians in a brilliant assault stormed Mt. 
St. Quentin and Feuillaucourt. The 
former position is the key to Peronne 
and this city fell on the 1st of Septem- 
ber, along with Bouchavesnes and Ran- 
court. 

The interest in the drive toward the 
Hindenburg Line now centres in the 
advances made by Home's army, which 
struck astride the Scarpe, when Gen- 
eral Byng's forward movement began 
to slow up. Nevertheless it was the suc- 
cess of Byng's push that made Home's 
attack possible. Home's blow was tre- 
mendously successful, because it not 
only broke the famous Hindenburg 
Line at its northern end but broke the 
famous Drocourt-Queant switch line as 
well. The very first day of the new 
drive, August 26, saw the piercing of 
the Hindenburg Line. The Canadians 
captured Wancourt and Monchy-le- 
Preux. On the next day they smashed 
through the Hindenburg Line for four 
miles southeast of Arras, and oc- 
cupied Cherisy, Vis-en-Artois, and the 
Bois-du-Sait. Scotch troops crossed 
the Sensee river, just south of the 
Cojeul, and captured Fontaine-les- 
Croisilles, besides seizing Rosux and 
Gavrelle, north of the Scarpe. On the 
28th the Germans lost Croiselles and 
the Canadians took Boiry and Pelves, 
behind the Hindenburg Line. Bulle- 
court was reached on the 29th, and the 
British were face to face with the Dro- 
court-Queant line which had held them 
up in their Cambrai offensive at the end 
of 1917 (see above). 

The Drocourt-Queant line was a very 
formidable line of defense intended to 
be a second barrier to the great bases 
at Cambrai and Douai. It branched 
off from the main line at Queant and 
then ran almost parallel to it to Dro- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



99 



court. The British attacked it at 5 
o'clock on the morning of September 2, 
under the protection of an extremely 
heavy barrage fire. The Germans had 
rushed every available man they had to 
stem the allied tide. The result was 
some of the bitterest fighting of the 
war. In their first attack the British 
penetrated 6 miles of the lines to a 
depth of four miles. They captured 
Dury, Mt. Dury, Cagnicourt wood and 
village, and Buissy, after desperate 
fighting. Tanks were often found op- 
erating far ahead of the infantry. Dur- 
ing the second day, the British, having 
broken the line, penetrated 6 miles along 
a front of more than 20. Queant 
was taken by storm, along with a dozen 
towns and villages. More than 10,000 
prisoners fell to the British in this one 
operation. 

The British now settled down to a 
slow but steady advance along the Ba- 
paume-Cambrai road. It might be add- 
ed here that Lens was evacuated by the 
Germans on September 4, but the Al- 
lies were unable to occupy it because it 
was saturated with poison gas. On Sep- 
tember 8, Villeveque, and part of Hav- 
rincourt wood fell to the British. Four 
days later Havrincourt, Moeuvres, and 
Trescault were in their hands, and the 
threat toward Cambrai increased. 

What might be called the second part 
of the Allied offensive was now over. It 
had begun with Rawlinson's attack on 
the southern side of the Picardy sa- 
lient. Then the French and Amer- 
icans, under Mangin and Debeney, 
joined in from Montdidier to the Chem- 
in des Dames and the Vesle. After 
Byng had successfully struck north of 
the Somme, Home struck astride the 
Scarpe and broke the Hindenburg and 
Drocourt-Queant lines. The result was 
everywhere favorable to the Allies. 
With the exception of Flanders and 



along the Aisne, the Germans were ev- 
erywhere back to their starting place 
in March. The German people at home, 
although somewhat buoyed up by false 
reports, had lost their supreme faith 
in their army. Vast quantities of sup- 
plies and ammunition were captured or 
destroyed to prevent capture. Eight 
German divisions had been destroyed, 
since the beginning of the allied offen- 
sive up to the middle of September. Ap- 
proximately 200,000 prisoners and 
2,300 guns had fallen into the hands of 
the Allies. Almost 300,000 fresh Amer- 
ican troops were pouring into France 
a month. Ludendorff's attempt to re- 
treat to a smaller front was frustrated 
by Foch's tactics, the fundamental 
theory of which was to keep the enemy 
engaged all along the line and not to 
let him effectively use his reserves. 

The St. Mihiel Salient. — By Septem- 
ber 12, Foch realized that he had ex- 
hausted the possibilities of further im- 
mediate advance against the Hinden- 
burg Line. Instead of resting, which, 
of course, would also permit the Ger- 
mans to rest, he hurled the First Amer- 
ican army against the St. Mihiel sa- 
lient, and reduced it, thus confronting 
the Germans with the necessity of de- 
fending Metz and the Briey iron fields. 
This salient, enclosing the Woevre 
plain, and with its tip extending to the 
Meuse, had existed since the first year 
of the Mar. One of the most important 
results of Pershing's successful offensive 
was the freeing of the great French 
railway system running through Ver- 
dun, Toul, and Nancy. It was the loss 
of this railway that greatly hampered 
the bringing up of reserves during the 
Crown Prince's tremendous assaults on 
Verdun. 

The plan of attack was to strike on 
both sides of the salient and crush it by 
advancing toward the centre. The chief 



100 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



attack was made on the southern leg of 
the salient on a front extending about 
12 miles due west of Pont-a-Mousson. 
The attack on the western leg of the 
salient extended for a distance of about 
8 miles between Dommartin and 
Fresnes. Simultaneous with these at- 
tacks the French destroyed the bridges 
over the Meuse river at St. Mihiel. The 
attacks were made at 5 a.m. on Sep- 
tember 12, after about 4 hours of artil- 
lery preparation. Foggy weather aided 
the attackers. The chief resistance was 
in the west, where the German positions 
were defended by the heights on the 
edge of the Woevre. The Americans 
stormed these heights, the highest of 
which is Les Eparges, and took the vil- 
lages of Herbeuville, Hattonchatel, 
Hanonville, Billy, St. Maurice, Thillot, 
and Hattonville, and during the night 
entered Vigneulles, which is at tin; 
southern end of the line of hills pro- 
tecting this side of the salient. On the 
southern leg of the salient the results 
were just as successful to American 
arms. During the first day Labayville, 
St. Bausscant, Vilcey, Essey, and the 
important town of Thiaucourt wete 
captured. During the night Pannes, 
Nonsard, Buxieres, and St. Mihiel were 
captured. Twenty-seven hours after 
the attack began, the forces advancing 
from the east and west met at Vigneul- 
les and Heudicourt, and the St. Mihiel 
salient was no more. The American com- 
manders operating under General 
Pershing were Generals Liggett, Dick- 
man, and Cameron. 

During the next few days the pocket 
was "mopped up" and the new lines 
consolidated. Sixteen thousand prison- 
ers, among whom were many Austro- 
Hungarians, and almost 450 guns were 
taken. Besides these, vast stores of 
arms, ammunition, and military sup- 
plies were captured. Nearly 175 square 



miles of territory and 70 villages were 
delivered from the enemy. The Allies 
were now in a position to seriously 
threaten Metz, and the great Metz- 
Mezieres trunk railway, one of Ger- 
many's main supply lines. Another 
important result, for the Germans as 
well as for the Allies, was to show that 
the American forces had reached a 
stage of development where they could 
be depended upon to take their full 
share in the war. 

The A rgonne-Meuse Offensive. — As 
has been related above, Marshal Foch, 
in the last week of September, began an 
offensive over the entire front from 
Switzerland to the sea. He attacked 
one flank in Flanders, the centre along 
the Hindenburg line, and now the other 
flank in Champagne. From the strate- 
gic point of view, the Champagne flank 
was by far the most important front. 
A break through of any size here would 
cut the lines of communication between 
Germany and her armies in France and 
Belgium. The Argonne-Meuse line was 
also the hinge of the German retreat in 
Belgium and northern France, and, if 
broken, would doubtlessly cause a huge 
debacle. The German defenses in this 
region, both natural and artificial, were 
exceptionally strong. The bend in the 
Aisne, west of the Argonne Forest, the 
forest itself, and the Meuse River, were 
tremendous natural advantages. Be- 
sides these the German High Command, 
realizing the strategical importance of 
the sector, had placed many of its best 
divisions there, as well as profusely 
sprinkling the area with barbed wire 
and machine gun emplacements. 

After the fall of the St. Mihiel sa- 
lient, which really paved the way for 
this offensive, the First American Army 
took over the lines between the Argonne 
Forest and the Meuse River. This army 
was to cooperate with General Gour- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



101 



and's French army which extended from 
the neighborhood of Rheims to where it 
joined the Americans in the Argonne. 
The attack began on the 26th of Sep- 
tember, when the French advanced four 
miles and the Americans about six. By 
the 28th, the Americans had taken 
Montfaucon, Exermont, Garcourt, 
Cuisy, Septsarges, Malancourt, Ivoiry, 
Epinonville, Charpentry, Very, and 




From Current History Magazine, published 
by the New York Times Co. 

Scenes of Bitterest Fighting in Argonne 
Forest Region. 



10,000 prisoners. The French took 
Sevron, the Butte des Mesnil, and Na- 
varin Farm. The Americans were 
within range of the Kriemhilde line 
which extended from Grand Pre to 
Damvillers across the Meuse. East of 
the Meuse the Americans captured 
Marcheville and Rieville, which 
strengthened the flank of the army west 
of the Meuse. On the 29th and 30th, 
General Gourand advanced to within 
five miles of Vouziers. 

On October 4th, the Americans as- 
saulted the Kriemhilde line and smashed 
their way through part of it. They 



captured Cesnes, and advanced 2 miles 
up the Aire river valley. On October 
5, the Germans before Gourand retired 
along a 12-mile front closely pursued 
by the French army, By the 11th, the 
French held the whole line of the Suippe 
river and the Americans had seized the 
heights dominating the Aire valley. So 
far the French had taken 21,000 pris- 
oners and 600 guns. On the 11th, the 
Americans took St. Juvin, and two 
days later took the important town of 
Grand Pre and Champigneulles. On 
the 17th Ptomagne fell and the Ameri- 
cans were everywhere beyond the Kriem- 
hilde positions. During the next day 
Bantheville and Talma Farm were seized 
in surprise attacks. They changed 
hands several times before remaining 
in the possession of the Americans. On 
the same day the French crossed the 
Aisne near Vouziers, and made impor- 
tant gains toward Bethel. 

The only German defense between the 
Americans and the Belgian border was 
the Freya-Stellung which ran from near 
Dun-sur-Meuse to the Bourgogne wood. 
About ten miles north of this line was 
the great trunk railway line running 
from Metz to Mezieres, through Sedan 
and Montmedy. Part of the Freya line 
was seized on October 26 and the rail- 
way line was bombarded. On November 
1, both General Pershing and General 
Gourand began their final advance. The 
latter crossed the Aisne between Bethel 
and Vouziers, and, advancing with 
Berthelot's army on the left, reached 
the outskirts of Mezieres, when the ar- 
mistice went into effect (November 11). 
General Pershing's forces reached Se- 
dan on the 6th. Between that date 
and the 11th, east of the Meuse, he 
seized the heights of the Woevre, and 
had brought Metz into effective gunfire 
range. 

The Franco-American advance in the 



102 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Argonne-Meuse region cut the German 
main line of communication (mentioned 
above) and foreordained a complete 
defeat within a very short time for Ger- 
man} r , had the armistice not intervened. 
Some of the bitterest righting of the 
war occurred in this sector. Most of it 
was hand to hand, and the nature of 
the ground with its ravines, gullies, for- 
ests, etc., made it necessary to wipe out 
machine gun nests with infantry rather 
than with artillery. The Americans 
captured 26,000 prisoners and 468 
guns. The French took about 30,000 
prisoners and 700 guns. It is esti- 
mated that the Germans lost 150,000 
men trying to defend their main line of 
communication. 

The Withdrawal from the Lys Sa- 
lient. — In order to save the Crown 
Prince of Bavaria's army from an over- 
whelming defeat similar to those suf- 
fered during the "pinching" of the 
Marne and Picardy salients, the Ger- 
man High Command determined to with- 
draw from the overextended salient 
south of Ypres. This withdrawal was 
accelerated by short, sharp blows un- 
der the direction of Field Marshal Haig. 
The first retirement was in the neigh- 
borhood of La Bassee on August 5. 
The British immediately occupied the 
abandoned trenches. This movement 
was followed by an attack on the Lawe 
river which advanced more than half a 
mile on a 5-mile line. Two days later 
the British made an advance between 
the Lawe and the Bourre rivers which 
penetrated 2000 yards and occupied 5 
villages, including. Locon. Marshal 
Haig then struck due west of Armen- 
tieres, between Bailleul and Vieux-Ber- 
quin, and captured Outtersteene. These 
attacks were on the side of the salient, 
and besides gaining almost all of its 
area, placed the tip, pointing toward 
Nieppe forest, in a serious position. 



Merville, almost at the tip of the sa- 
lient, was entered on August 19, after 
an advance by the British on a 6-mile 
front. On August 30, the Germans 
evacuated Bailleul, and the next day 
the famous Kemmel Hill. Haig had 
planned to take this hill by assault with 
the aid of American divisions, but the 
German withdrawal forestalled him. 
The British on the same day advanced 
along the Lawe river on the southern leg 
of the salient. On September 2, Amer- 
ican troops north of Wytschaete were 
thrown into battle and captured Voor- 
mezeele, while the British were taking 
Neuve Eglise, and some territory east 
of Estaires. The situation remained 
almost stationary until the latter part 
of September, when the Allies began 
their great drive which wiped out not 
only the remainder of the Lys salient, 
but compelled the Germans to retire 
from the Belgian coast. 

Breaking the Hindenburg Line. — In 
the section treating the German retreat 
to the Hindenburg Line it was narrated 
how certain sectors of this line were 
penetrated and how the Queant-Dro- 
court was smashed. This section will 
deal with the breaking of the line, it- 
self, the capture of Cambrai, St. Quen- 
tin, and Laon, and the advance across 
France and Belgium, until the armistice 
put an end to the fighting. The reader 
must bear in mind that while this tre- 
mendous drive was pushing the German 
centre back, the Allies were crushing 
one flank in Flanders and the other in 
the Meuse-Argonne Forest region. In 
the bitter fighting that resulted in the 
breaking of the famous defense system, 
the 27th and 30th American divisions 
played conspicuous parts. 

Although the main attack was made 
on September 29, important advances in 
the direction of Cambrai were made on 
the 27th, when Generals Byng and 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



103 



Home with the American 2d Corps 
(27th and 30th divisions), struck on a 
14-mile front before Cambrai, crossed 
the Canal du Nord, took 6,000 prison- 
ers and several villages, and pierced the 
outposts of the Hindenburg Line. On 
the 28th, Marcoing, Fontaine-Notre- 
Dame, Cantaing, and Noyelles were tak- 
en along with 4,000 more prisoners. On 
the 29th, General Rawlinson, with the 
aid of the Americans, struck on a 30- 
mile front from St. Quentin to the Sen- 
see Canal. The former crossed the 
Scheldt Canal and the latter, after 
seizing Bellicourt and Nauroy, entered 
the suburbs of Cambrai, itself. Gener- 
al Home now attacked in the Arras sec- 
tor and advanced toward Douai by cap- 
turing Oppy and Biache-St. Vaast. 
This compelled the Germans to retire 
from the Lens coal field regions. Byng, 
by crossing the Scheldt Canal northwest 
of Cambrai, threatened the city from 
that direction. 

While these operations were going on 
around Cambrai, the fate of St. Quen- 
tin was being sealed. After nibbling 
operations, the French and British cap- 
tured Thorigny and Le Tronquoy, 
about three miles from the city (Sep- 
tember 30). On the first of October, 
General Debeney's army occupied part 
of the city, and on the next day seized 
all of it. In the meantime Rawlinson's 
army forced the Scheldt Canal and oc- 
cupied Le Catelet and Beauvoir. 

On October 9, a great drive covering 
the whole line from Cambrai to the 
neighborhood of St. Quentin was begun 
without artillery preparation. It was 
a tremendous success, penetrating 9 
miles on a 20-mile front. Cambrai was 
occupied on the very first day, which 
necessitated a further retreat on the 
Arras-Lens front toward Douai. By 
the 10th, the British had advanced their 
lines to the Selle river between Solesmes 



and St. Souplet, and captured the im- 
portant German base of Le Cateau. On 
the next day the Germans abandoned 
the line along the Sensee river, and the 
Allies were closing in on Douai. This 
city fell on the 17th. Steady progress 
was made east of Cambrai and north- 
east of St. Quentin, in the general di- 
rection of Valenciennes, Maubeuge, and 
Hirson, an important supply centre. 

On the 20th, the British forced a 
crossing of the Selle north of Le Ca- 
teau and on the 22d advanced from 
northwest of Tournai to southwest of 
Valenciennes, patrols actually reaching 
the suburbs of the latter city. On the 
25th the Valenciennes-Le Quesnoy rail- 
way was reached on a 7-mile front. On 
November 2 Valenciennes fell after a 
"pinching" operation, and the British 
advanced along the road to Mons. On 
November 4, the British and Americans 
struck on a 20-mile front between the 
Scheldt and the Oise-Sambre Canal and 
captured 10,000 prisoners and many 
guns, thus forcing the Germans to make 
a 75-mile retreat from the Scheldt to 
the Aisne. As a result of this the 
French took the fortified city and rail- 
road centre of Hirson, and the British 
captured the fortress of Maubeuge on 
the 9th of November. On the 11th, 
the last day of fighting, the British cap- 
tured Mons, the scene of their defeat 
and retreat in August, 1914. 

In considering the breaking of the 
Hindenburg Line, the events that oc- 
curred between the Oise and the Aisne 
and which resulted in the capture of 
Laon and the Chemin des Dames, must 
be included. Foch determined to use his 
"pincers" method on a large scale in 
order to take Laon. In order to ac- 
complish this he had to advance 
through the formidable forest of St. 
Gobain and recapture the Chemin des 
Dames positions. After the "pinching" 



104 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



of the Marne salient (July, 1918), the 
Franco-Americans had nibbled away at 
the German positions in order to get 
a good place to start their offensive. 
The Americans had taken the Juvigny 
plateau and later the French seized the 
Vauxaillon plateau just south of the 
Aisne. The German Crown Prince 
made repeated and bitter counter at- 
tacks to retake these strategical posi- 
tions, but they were all futile as well as 
costly. On September 28, General Man- 
gin's Franco-American army captured 
Fort de Malmaison, the old lime stone 
position which is in the rear of the 
Chemin des Dames positions. Then be- 
gan a slow advance between these posi- 
tions and the Ailette river, as well as 
between the Aisne and the Vesle. Gen- 
eral Berthelot, in conjunction with Gen- 
eral Mangin, and with the aid of Italian 
troops, began an advance northwest of 
Rheims, which resulted in the capture 
of Berry-au-Bac on October 7. On the 
9th, Bazancourt and Vaux-les-Mauron 
fell. By the 12th, Mangin had suc- 
ceeded in occupying practically the en- 
tire Chemin des Dames positions. The 
next day saw the success of Foch's 
strategy, because the St. Gobain For- 
est, La Fere, and Laon, were evacuated 
by the Germans with scarcely any fight- 
ing. 

Mangin now advanced rapidly be- 
tween the Aisne and the Oise rivers, 
with the idea of reaching the Franco- 
Belgian frontier between Hirson and 
Mezieres. When the Germans began 
their 75-mile retreat from the Scheldt 
to the Aisne, Mangin, with Debeney 
on his left, exerted strong pressure on 
the Teutonic flank. By the 8th of No- 
vember, he was at the outskirts of 
Mezieres, but was unable to capture it 
before the armistice was signed on the 
11th. 

Thus ended the battle or series of 



battles which resulted in the breaking 
of the Hindenburg Line, and which were 
directly responsible for the Germans 
suing for an armistice. The fall of 
the great bases at Cambrai, St. Quen- 
tin, La Fere, and Laon, left the Ger- 
mans with no easily defended line west 
of the Rhine. It is extremely doubtful 
whether the Germans could have 
reached the Rhine with sufficient men, 
material, and organization, to prevent 
an invasion of Germany by the Allies, 
on a grand scale. 

The German Retreat from Belgium. 
— By the last week in September, Foch 
had wiped out the Marne, Picardy, Lys, 
and St. Mihiel salients and the Germans 
everywhere were practically back to 
their lines of March 21, and in some in- 
stances behind them. Foch now planned 
a concerted attack on the flanks and in 
the centre all the way from the sea to 
the Alps. On September 28 he struck 
the German flank which rested on the 
sea coast, by sea and by land. The 
land attack was aided by a heavy bom- 
bardment all along the coast from 
Nieuport to Zeebrugge by the British 
fleet. 

The attack was made by the reor- 
ganized Belgian army, under the per- 
sonal direction of King Albert, and 
the British Second Army, under Gen- 
eral Plumer, on a ten-mile front from 
Dixmude to Passchendaele Ridge, north 
of Ypres. This initial attack penetrat- 
ed approximately 4 miles and resulted 
in the capture of 4000 prisoners and a 
great quantity of supplies of all kinds. 
All of Houthulst forest and several vil- 
lages were also taken. On the next 
day the Belgians tore a hole in the per- 
manent German lines and captured Dix- 
mude, Passchendaele, Stadenberg, 
Moorslede, and Zarren, and were only 2 
miles from Roulers. This city was won 
and lost by them in the course of the 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



105 



next day. On this same day the Brit- 
ish took the formidable Messines and 
Passchendaele ridges, and Gheluvelt. 
On the 1st of October, the Allies crossed 
the Menin-Roulers road and struck in a 
southerly direction, reaching the Lys 
river between Wervioq and Warneton. 

The threat to envelop the industrial 
centre of Lille had now become so pro- 
nounced and had created such a serious 
position for the German forces, that the 
German Command determined to evacu- 
ate it, which necessitated a retirement 
from the Belgian coast. Consequently, 
on the 2nd the Germans began the 
evacuation of the city and a retreat 
on both sides of the La Bassee canal. 
This retreat was accelerated by the 
joining of General Degoutte's French 
army to the Belgian and British armies. 
The Belgians captured Hooglede and 
Handzeeme northeast of Roulers, and 
the British seized Rolleghencapelle, be- 
tween Courtrai and Roulers. Armen- 
tieres was entered on the same day. So 
far the Germans had lost 25,000 prison- 
ers and 150 guns. 

After a week and a half of further 
preparation, the Allies struck an ex- 
tremely heavy blow aimed at clearing 
the west bank of the Scheldt as far as 
Ghent. The attack extended from the 
Lys, near Comines, to the sea. The 
Belgians drove forward 7 miles north 
of a line running from Handzeeme to 
Courtemarck, and the French and Brit- 
ish to the Hooglede plateau and Winck- 
elhoek and Lendelede. The German 
forced retreat from Belgium now began 
in earnest. The Belgians advanced 
steadily along the roads to Bruges and 
Ostend from Thourout, and the French 
advanced toward Thielt, while the Brit- 
ish advanced along the Lys from Com- 
ines. On the 17th the British entered 
Lille, and naval forces entered Ostend, 
which had been evacuated. On the next 



day Zeebrugge was entered, as well as 
Bruges, Thielt, Courtrai, Tourcoing, 
and Roubaix. The total number of 
prisoners taken was 40,000. 

Between the 20th and 25th of Octo- 
ber, the French and Belgians added 
11,000 more prisoners to the total by 
forcing the Lys Canal in the direction 
of Ghent. The British in the south 
took Bruay and Estain. On the last 
day of the month, Byng's army, with 
the aid of the 80th American division, 
struck between the Lys and the Scheldt 
from Deynze to Avelghem and captured 
several villages and towns. While this 
operation was going on the British and 
French were driving the Germans back 
on Ghent and the line of the Scheldt. 
The retreat was precipitous. On No- 
vember 3, the Belgians advanced 10 
miles along the Dutch frontier and 
reached the Terneuzen (Dutch) -Ghent 
canal. This advance coupled with that 
of the French and British in the south 
brought the Allies to within 5 miles of 
Ghent. The British forced the Scheldt 
near Pofter and began an advance on 
Brussels. Tournai fell to the British on 
November 9 and when the fighting 
ceased two days later, the line in Bel- 
gium ran almost north and south from 
Terneuzen to north of Audenarde and 
then southeasterly to Mons. 

General Foch had thus successfully 
turned the German flank and, if the ar- 
mistice had not intervened, it is safe to 
predict that supreme disaster awaited 
the German armies as a result of this 
movement. General Foch is credited 
with the statement that the German 
army would have been captured or de- 
stroyed within six weeks (after Novem- 
ber 11), but he had agreed to an armis- 
tice to save lives. More than 60,000 
prisoners and 500 guns of all calibres 
had been captured in this flank move- 
ment. 



106 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The End of the War. — Negotiations 
between the United States and Germany 
which began on October 5 ended on No- 
vember 5, when President Wilson in his 
note of that date informed the Germans 
that General Foch had been authorized 
by the United States and the Allies to 
open negotiations with accredited Ger- 
man agents. See section below entitled 
Peace Proposals. This was followed 
two days later by announcement that 
German agents had been appointed and 
were about to leave the German Head- 
quarters at Spa, Belgium. They were 
received at General Foch's quarters the 
next day and received the terms of the 
armistice from him. A request to stop 
hostilities until the terms had been sent 
to the German headquarters was re- 
fused. After several delays the terms 
were accepted by Germany on Novem- 
ber 11, at 5 o'clock a.m. Paris time. 
They were as follows : 

"I. Cessation of operations by land and in 
the air six hours after the signature of the 
armistice. 

"II. Immediate evacuation of invaded coun- 
tries: Belgium, France, Alsace-Lorraine, Lux- 
emburg, so ordered as to be completed within 
fourteen days from the signature of the armis- 
tice. German troops which have not left the 
above-mentioned territories within the period 
fixed will become prisoners of war. Occupation 
by the allied and United States forces jointly 
will keep pace with evacuation in these areas. 
All movements of evacuation and occupation 
will be regulated in accordance with a note 
annexed to the stated terms. 

"III. Repatriation, beginning at once and to 
be completed within fourteen days, of all in- 
habitants of the countries above mentioned, in- 
cluding hostages and persons under trial or 
convicted. 

"IV. Surrender in good condition by the Ger- 
man armies of the following equipment: Five 
thousand guns (2,500 heavy, 2,500 field), 30,000 
machine guns. Three thousand minenwerfers. 
Two thousand airplanes (fighters, bombers — 
firstly, D, seventy-three's and night bombing 
machines). The above to be delivered in situ 
to the Allies and the United States troops in 
accordance with the detailed conditions laid 
down in the annexed note. 

"V. Evacuation by the German armies of the 



countries on the left bank of the Rhine. These 
countries on the left bank of the Rhine shall 
be administered by the local authorities under 
the control of the allied and United States 
armies of occupation. The occupation of these 
territories will be determined by allied and 
United States garrisons holding the principal 
crossings of the Rhine — Mayence, Coblenz, Co- 
logne — together with bridgeheads at these 
points in thirty kilometer radius on the right 
bank and by garrisons similarly holding the 
strategic points of the regions. A neutral zone 
shall be reserved on the right of the Rhine be- 
tween the stream and a line drawn parallel to 
it forty kilometers to the east from the frontier 
of Holland to the parallel of Gernsheim and 
as far as practicable a distance of thirty kilo- 
meters from the east of the stream from this 
parallel upon the Swiss frontier. Evacuation 
by the enemy of the Rhine lands shall be so 
ordered as to be completed within a further 
period of eleven days — in all, twenty-five 
days after the signature of the armistice. 
All movements of evacuation and occupation 
will be regulated according to the note an- 
nexed. 

"VI. In all territory evacuated by the enemy 
there shall be no evacuation of inhabitants; no 
damage or harm shall be done to the persons 
or property of the inhabitants. No destruc- 
tion of any kind to be committed. Military 
establishments of all kinds shall be delivered 
intact as well as military stores of food, muni- 
tions, equipment not removed during the peri- 
ods fixed for evacuation. Stores of food of 
all kinds for the civil population, cattle, etc., 
shall be left in situ. Industrial establishments 
shall not be impaired in any way and their 
personnel shall not be moved. Roads and 
means of communication of every kind, rail- 
road, waterways, main roads, bridges, tele- 
graphs, telephones, shall be in no manner im- 
paired. 

"VII. All civil and military personnel at 
present employed on them shall remain. Five 
thousand locomotives, 50,000 wagons, and 
10,000 motor lorries in good working order with 
all necessary spare parts and fittings shall be 
delivered to the Associated Powers within the 
period fixed for the evacuation of Belgium and 
Luxemburg. The railways of Alsace-Lorraine 
shall be handed over within the same period, 
together with all pre-war personnel and ma- 
terial. Further material necessary for the 
working of railways in the country on the left 
bank of the Rhine shall be left in situ. All 
stores of coal and material for the upkeep of 
permanent ways, signals and repair shops left 
entire in situ and kept in an efficient state by 
Germany during the whole period of armistice. 
All barges taken from the Allies shall be re- 
stored to them. A note appended regulates the 
details of these measures. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



107 



"VIII. The German command shall be re- 
sponsible for revealing all mines or delay-act- 
ing fuse disposed on territory evacuated by the 
German troops, and shall assist in their discov- 
ery and destruction. The German command 
shall also reveal all destructive measures that 
may have been taken (such as poisoning or 
polluting of springs, wells, etc.) under penalty 
of reprisals. 

"IX. The right of requisition shall be exer- 
cised by the Allies and the United States ar- 
mies in all occupied territory. The upkeep of 
the troops of occupation in the Rhine land (ex- 
cluding Alsace-Lorraine) shall be charged to 
the German Government. 

"X. An immediate repatriation without reci- 
procity according to detailed conditions, which 
shall be fixed, of all allied and United States 
prisoners of war. The allied powers and the 
United States shall be able to dispose of these 
prisoners as they wish. 

"XI. Sick and wounded who cannot be re- 
moved from evacuated territory will be cared 
for by German personnel, who will be left on 
the spot with all the medical materials re- 
quired. 

"XII. All German troops at present in any 
territory which before the war belonged to Rus- 
sia, Rumania or Turkey, shall withdraw with- 
in the frontiers of Germany as they existed on 
August 1, 1914. 

"XIII. Evacuation by German troops to be- 
gin at once, and all German instructors, pris- 
oners, and civilian as well as military agents 
now on the territory of Russia (as defined be- 
fore 1914) to be recalled. 

"XIV. German troops to cease at once all 
requisitions and seizures and any other under- 
taking with a view to obtaining supplies in- 
tended for Germany in Rumania and Russia 
(as defined on August 1, 1914). 

"XV. Abandonment of the treaties of Bu- 
charest and Brest-Litovsk and of the supple- 
mentary treaties. 

"XVI. The Allies shall have free access to 
the territories evacuated by the Germans on 
their eastern frontier either through Danzig or 
by the Vistula in order to convey supplies to 
the populations of those territories or for any 
other purpose. 

"XVII. Unconditional capitulation of all 
German forces operating in East Africa within 
one month. 

"XVIII. Repatriation, without reciprocity, 
within a maximum period of one month, in ac- 
cordance with detailed conditions hereafter to 
be fixed, of all civilians interned or deported, 
who may be citizens of other allied or associated 
States than those mentioned in Clause Three, 
Paragraph Nineteen, with the reservation that 
any future claims and demands of the Allies 
and the United States of America remain un- 
affected. 



"XIX. The following financial conditions are 
required: Reparation for damage done. While 
such armistice lasts no public securities shall 
be removed by the enemy which can serve as a 
pledge to the Allies for the recovery or rep- 
aration for war losses. Immediate restitution 
of the cash deposit in the National Bank of 
Belgium, and in general immediate return of 
all documents, specie, stocks, shares, paper 
money, together with plant for the issue there- 
of, touching public or private interests in the 
invaded countries. Restitution of the Russian 
and Rumanian gold yielded to Germany or 
taken by that power. This gold to be delivered 
n trust to the Allies until the signature of 
peace. 

"XX. Immediate cessation of all hostilities 
at sea and definite information to be given as 
to the location and movements of all German 
ships. Notification to be given to neutrals 
that freedom of navigation in all territorial 
waters is given to the naval and mercantile 
marines of the allied and associated powers, 
all questions of neutrality being waived. 

"XXI. All naval and mercantile marine pris- 
oners of the allied and associated powers in 
German hands to be returned without reci- 
procity. 

"XXII. Surrender to the Allies and the 
United States of America of one hundred and 
sixty German submarines (including all sub- 
marine cruisers and mine laying submarines), 
with their complete armament and equipment 
in ports which will be specified by the Allies 
and the United States of America. All other 
submarines to be paid off and completely dis- 
armed and placed under the supervision of the 
allied powers and the United States of Amer- 
ica. 

"XXIII. The following German surface war- 
ships, which shall be designated by the Allies 
and the United States of America, shall forth- 
with be disarmed and thereafter interned in 
neutral ports, or for the want of them, in 
allied ports, to be designated by the Allies and 
the United States of America, and placed un- 
der the surveillance of the Allies and the 
United States of America, only caretakers 
being left on board, namely: Six battle cruis- 
ers, ten battleships, eight light cruisers, includ- 
ing two mine layers, fifty destroyers of the 
most modern type. All other surface warships 
(including river craft) are to be concentrated 
in German naval bases to be designated by the 
Allies and the United States of America, and 
are to be paid off and completely disarmed 
and placed under the supervision of the Allies 
and the United States of America. All vessels 
of the auxiliary fleet, trawlers, motor vessels, 
etc., are to be disarmed. 

"XXIV. The Allies and the United States of 
America shall have the right to sweep up all 
mine fields and obstructions laid by Germany 



108 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



outside German territorial waters and the posi- 
tions of these are to be indicated. 

"XXV. Freedom of access to and from the 
Baltic to be given to the naval and mercantile 
marines of the allied and 'associated powers. 
To secure this the Allies and the United States 
of America shall be empowered to occupy all 
German forts, fortifications, batteries and de- 
fense works of all kinds in all the entrances 
from the Cattegat into the Baltic, and to sweep 
up all mines and obstructions within and with- 
out German territorial waters, without any 
question of neutrality being raised, and the 
positions of all such mines and obstructions are 
to be indicated. 

"XXVI. The existing blockade conditions set 
up by the allied and associated powers are to 
remain unchanged, and all German merchant 
ships found at sea are to remain liable to cap- 
ture. 

"XXVII. All naval aircraft are to be con- 
centrated and immobilized in German bases to 
be specified by the Allies and the United States 
of America. 

"XXVIII. In evacuating the Belgian coasts 
and ports, Germany shall abandon all merchant 
ships, tugs, lighters, cranes and all other harbor 
materials, all materials for inland navigation, 
all aircraft and all materials and stores, all 
arms and armaments, and all stores and appa- 
ratus of all kinds. 

"XXIX. All Black Sea ports are to be evac- 
uated by Germany; all Russian war vessels of 
all descriptions seized by Germany in the Black 
Sea are to be handed over to the Allies and the 
United States of America; all neutral merchant 
vessels seized are to be released ; all warlike and 
other materials of all kinds seized in those 
ports are to be returned and German materials 
as specified in Clause Twenty-eight are to be 
abandoned. 

"XXX. All merchant vessels in German 
hands belonging to the allied and associated 
powers are to be restored in ports to be speci- 
fied by the Allies and the United States of 
America without reciprocity. 

"XXXI. No destruction of ships or of ma- 
terials to be permitted before evacuation, sur- 
render, or restoration. 

"XXXII. The German Government will noti- 
fy the neutral Governments of the world, and 
particularly the Governments of Norway, 
Sweden, Denmark, and Holland, that all re- 
strictions placed on the trading of their ves- 
sels with the allied and associated countries, 
whether by the German Government or by pri- 
vate German interests, and whether in return 
for specific concessions, such as the export of 
shipbuilding materials or not, are immediately 
cancelled. 

"XXXIII. No transfers of German merchant 
shipping of any description to any neutral flag 



are to take place after signature of the armis- 
tice. 

"XXXIV. The duration of the armistice is 
to be thirty days, with option to extend. Dur- 
ing this period, on failure of execution of any 
of the above clauses, the armistice may be 
denounced by one of the contracting parties 
on forty-eight hours' previous notice. 

"XXXV. This armistice to be accepted or 
refused by Germany within seventy-two hours 
of notification." 

This armistice has been signed the 
Eleventh of November, Nineteen Eight- 
een, at 5 o'clock (a.m.) French time. 

F. Foch 

R. E. Wemyss 

Erzbergeb 

A. Oberndorff 

WlNTERFELDT 

Von Salow 

The evacuation of the territory west 
of the Rhine went along very smoothly. 
The Allies were hailed as deliverers ev- 
erywhere, especially in Alsace-Lor- 
raine, which was triumphantly entered 
by French forces. A similar entry was 
made by King Albert and his Queen 
riding at the head of his troops. The 
British took over the administration of 
the zone around Cologne, the Americans 
that around Coblenz, and the French 
that around Mayence. 

On December 11, 1918, the terms of 
the armistice were renewed for a month, 
or until January 17, 1919. During this 
period the conditions that were unful- 
filled were to be completed. The fol- 
lowing provision was also added to the 
general terms : "The Allied High Com- 
mand reserves the right to begin, mean- 
while, if it thinks it wise in order to 
assure new guarantees, to occupy the 
neutral zone on the right bank of the 
Rhine to the north of the bridgehead of 
Cologne, up to the Dutch frontier. This 
occupation will be announced by the 
Allied High Command by giving six 
days' notice." 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



109 



Subsequent renewals of the armistice 
terms occurred during the time that the 
peace conference was holding its meet- 
ings at Paris. 

III. Eastern Theatre. An unex- 
pected blow by the Russians through 
East Prussia early in the war would 
have upset the German plan, but for 
the superior generalship of Von Hin- 
denburg (Tannenberg). Meanwhile the 
Austrian advance to hold the main Rus- 
sian armies failed in the rout through 
Galicia, and October, 1914, found the 
Russians astride the Carpathians. To 
save the Austrians, Germany hurried 
troops from France and organized a 
counter-offensive through Poland, which 
developed during the winter and spring, 
1914 and 1915, and drove the Russians 
far behind their own frontier. 

Trench warfare marks this front 
during 1915-16 until June, 1916, when 
the Russians, finding Austria advanc- 
ing in Italy and Germany engaged at 
Verdun, once more began a successful 
drive through Galicia that reacted on 
the Italian and Verdun fronts. This 
success was followed by the Russian 
revolution which ultimately prevented 
that country from being a factor in the 
war. 

The detailed account of these mili- 
tary operations falls under the follow- 
ing heads : (1) Russian drive into East 
Prussia, outgeneraled by Hindenburg 
and culminating in defeat at Tannen- 
berg; (2) Austrian advance through 
Galicia to cut the Kiev-Warsaw rail- 
road; (3) defeat of this Austrian cam- 
paign and pursuit by the Russians to 
the Carpathians; (4) German advance 
in Poland, including first attack on 
Warsaw; (5) siege of Przemysl; (6) 
Austro-German advance in Galicia, with 
rout of Russians, including loss of Po- 
land, and taking up of intrenched line 
from Riga to Dvinsk to Lutsk and down 



to the outer Bukowina border; (7) 
Brusiloff's drive into Galicia, June, 
1916; (8) the Russian Revolution; 
(9) Russia under the Bolsheviki. The 
struggle on the east front was condi- 
tioned by a number of circumstances. 
We have first the German plan itself, 
to smash the French and then turn up- 
on the Russians before they could get 
ready. A corollary of this proposition 
was the retention on the east front of 
but few troops. Next we must take 
into account the fact that the Russians 
mobilized and were in readiness far fast- 
er than any one thought they possibly 
could. Lastly, and of paramount im- 
portance, is the nature of the terrain 
and its organization in view of war, and 
then the configuration of the frontier it- 
self. The striking feature of this con- 
figuration is that Russian Poland pro- 
jects like a huge bastion between Prus- 
sia on the north and Galicia on the 
south. The political frontier separat- 
ing the conterminous states is, on the 
whole, not a military frontier. Hence 
Russian Poland lies peculiarly exposed 
to attack from the north, west, and 
south. On the German frontier of East 
Prussia lie the Masurian lakes, form- 
ing a natural obstacle to invasion either 
east or west. On the south, and some 
distance from the political frontier, 
stretches the Carpathian Range, the 
natural protection of Hungary. 
Through this great central plain run 
many rivers ; chief of these are the Nie- 
men in Courland and Kovno, and the 
Vistula roughly bisecting Russian Po- 
land. In Germany the foresight of the 
general staff had furnished a complete 
network of railways, but in Russia and 
in Russian Poland there were compara- 
tively few. The German frontier was 
protected by important fortresses — 
Konigsberg, Graudenz, Thorn, Posen. 
In Russian Poland, besides the fortified 



110 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



capital, Warsaw, there were Novogeor- 
gievsk, northwest of Warsaw, and Ivan- 
gorod, southeast, and the line of for- 
tresses along the Narew River terminat- 
ing in Ossowiec (on the Bobr). East 
of Warsaw, at the junction of the rail- 
ways from Petrograd and Kiev, lies 
Brest-Litovsk on the Bug. It stands 
on the western rim of a great stretch of 
almost impenetrable marshes, the Pri- 
pet Marshes. 

Russia at once took the offensive. 
But it was plain that before she could 
advance, or attempt any great move- 
ment from her own domain of Poland, 
she would have to clear both East Prus- 
sia and Galicia of the Germans and Aus- 
trians respectively. The German idea 
apparently was to hold East Prussia 
and the remainder of the frontier to 
Galicia, while Austrian armies were to 
advance northwest into Poland, and 
eastward into Volhynia, and thus hold 
off or engage any Russian forces that 
might undertake operations in this re- 
gion. The Russian commander in chief 
was the Grand Duke Nicholas,* until 
superseded by the Czar (Nicholas II) 
in September, 1915. 

Invasion of East Prussia. — What- 
ever the motives that induced the 
course, the Russians opened the cam- 
paign by an invasion of East Prussia. 
Three railways cross the frontier of this 
province — the main line Petrograd-Ber- 



* Nicholas (Nikolai Nikolaievitch), Grand 
Duke. Born (1856) at St. Petersburg. Grad- 
uated from Nikolaiev Military Academy, be- 
came a member of Russian General Staff and 
aide-de-camp to Czar. Began career as junior 
officer in Russo-Turkish War. Lieutenant Gen- 
eral (1893), inspector of cavalry (1895), major 
general of the Guards and President of Coun- 
cil of Defense (1905), commander of military 
district of St. Petersburg (1906). Interested 
in military science and gave special attention 
to history of European strategy. Leader of 
aggressive Panslavism. Commander in chief 
of Russian army at outbreak of European 
War in 1914. Superseded in 1915, by the 
Czar. 



lin, at Wirballen ; the Bialystok-Lyck 
railway; and the Warsaw-Danzig, 
through Mlawa and Soldau. The Ger- 
mans had made no effort to fortify 
their frontier save in so far as the great 
positions of Konigsberg and Danzig 
may be said to have fortified it. 

In August, 1914, at the outset of the 
war, the Russians sent in two armies, 
one from the Niemen, resting on the 
fortresses of Kovno and Grodno, under 
General Rennenkampf,f and the other 
from the Narew under Samsonoff, each 
of them about 250,000 strong. Ren- 
nenkampf was the first to come into 
contact with the Germans under Von 
Francois, who, seriously outnumbered, 
fell back after fighting delaying actions 
to Gumbinnen, where on August 20 aft- 
er a stubborn resistance he was defeat- 
ed. He retired on Insterburg, but made 
no attempt to hold the place, which was 
entered by the Russians on August 24. 
Rennenkampf now continued his ad- 
vance west and southwest, clearing the 
country, and approached closely to 
Konigsberg, without however really 
menacing that formidable fortress. 
Samsonoff, marching northward, found 
only inferior numbers to oppose him, 
engaging them at Soldau, Neidenburg, 
Allenstein, and Frankenau. The result 
of the campaign so far had been to 
drive the Germans out of a great part 
of East Prussia, where two armies, to- 
taling nearly 500,000, were about to 
join hands. Samsonoff's army occu- 
pied the line Soldau-Allenstein-Frank- 
enau while Rennenkampf's ran north- 
west-southeast along the line Friedland- 

f Rennenkampf, Paul K. von. Born 
(1854) in one of the Baltic Provinces. En- 
tered military service (1870) and after attend- 
ing military academy called to the staff. Given 
command of Transcaucasian army (1899) and 
next year made major general. Won distinc- 
tion by daring raids in Russo-Japanese War. 
Notoriously severe in his repressive measures in 
revolution of 1905. 



S*f" ^Arensburer * e Xlk au \ 



T 5,s 







f r- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



111 



Angerburg. The situation was serious 
for the Germans, who had left but few 
troops (5 corps of the active army) in 
this region of the theatre of war. 

After their initial successes in East 
Prussia the Russians pushed their cav- 
alry patrols almost to the lower reaches 
of the Vistula. It was even reported 
that they had begun the investment of 
Konigsberg. Apart from sentimental 
reasons, the permanent retention by the 
Russians of East Prussia would have 
paralyzed German efforts in that re- 
gion, and affected the whole course of 
the war in the East. 

The business of clearing the country 
of the enemy was intrusted to Von Hin- 
denburg,*" a retired general thoroughly 
acquainted with the topography of the 
region. His first task was to assemble 
an army, which he did from the troops 
that had retreated before the Russians, 
from part of Von Francois' army and 
from the Vistula fortresses. He thus 
got together some 150,000 men, with 
whom he advanced into East Prussia. 
The two Russian armies had in the 
meantime become separated, Rennen- 
kampf going down the railway from 
Insterburg towards Konigsberg, while 
Samsonoff had got as far west as Oster- 
ode, where lay his right with his left 
further south along the Soldau-Ortels- 
burg railway. Far outnumbering Von 
Hindenburg, Samsonoff could derive no 
advantage from his superior strength 
because his troops were, so to say, tan- 



* Hindenburg, Paul von Beneckendorf 
und von, born (1847) in Posen. Entered army 
in 1866 and same year served in war against 
Austria, and in Franco-Prussian War (1870- 
71). Received military education (1872-75). 
Served in General Staff and as head of War 
Department. Became major general in 1900 
and lieutenant general in 1903. Was retired in 
1911 but recalled at beginning of great war in 
1914 and given command of campaign against 
Russia. At Tannenberg won great victory 
against Russians. Received Iron Cross in 1870 
and 1914. Made Field Marshal in 1914. 



gled up in the lake-and-swamp region 
in which they had become involved. 

Von Hindenburg stood with his left 
near Allenstein, across the Osterode-In- 
sterburg railway, his centre near Gil- 
genburg, and his right at Soldau. With 
his front protected by the nature of 
the ground, the roads on his flanks gave 
him opportunity, should it be necessary, 
to pass troops around either flank. 
Having, on August 26, repulsed the 
Russian attacks, Hindenburg on his 
right forced the enemy back towards 
Neidenburg, and thus got control of 
the road to Mlawa. To meet this Ger- 
man effort, Samsonoff strengthened his 
left, and on the 27th tried to win back 
the road. In this he failed; his centre 
at the same time fell back. Meanwhile 
Hindenburg had been sending men by 
the thousands northeast, past Allen- 
stein, to envelop the Russian right. On 
the 28th and 29th there was severe 
fighting for the possession of Passen- 
heim, on the railway from Ortelsburg 
to the main line, in which the Germans 
were successful. But one line of re- 
treat was now open to the Russians, the 
road running east through Ortelsburg 
towards Lyck, with the Germans well 
to the eastward of Passenheim. The 
Russians by this time had both their 
flanks turned and their centre driven in, 
and that by an army markedly inferior 
in numbers. Accordingly on the 30th 
the retreat began, and on the 31st the 
destruction of Samsonoff's army was 
complete. He was himself killed, 
90,000, and possibly more, prisoners 
were taken, 30,000 or more killed and 
wounded, guns lost by the hundreds, 
and all sorts of stores abandoned. Sam- 
sonoff had marched into a trap and 
there been crushed by inferior numbers 
compensated by superior generalship, 
extreme mobility, freedom of movement, 
and control of communication. Barely 



112 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



more than one corps of the five compos- 
ing the army managed to escape. 

The battle over, Hindenburg set out 
northeastward. But Rennenkampf had 
fallen back towards the Niemen on hear- 
ing of Samsonoff's fate. He fought a 
rear-guard action at Gumbinnen, fol- 
lowed by more fighting at Augustowo, 
and retired behind the Niemen, Sep- 
tember 23. Von Hindenburg tried the 
crossings, failed, was pursued by Ren- 
nenkampf, and after suffering severely 
in the Augustowo morasses (October 
1-9) was relieved to take command in 
Poland. In the meantime the centre of 
interest had shifted to Galicia. 

Conquest of Galicia. — The German 
plan of campaign contemplated, as we 
have seen, the crushing of PVance, while 
Russia should be held by the Central 
Powers. In form, so far as Austria was 
concerned, this holding was to be an in- 
vasion of Russian Poland. South of the 
frontier two railways run roughly 
parallel to the boundary, and from 
these two run branch lines and feeders. 
The Russians were not nearly so well 
off in the matter of transportation. 
Given, therefore, the supposed slowness 
of Russia's mobilization and the pov- 
erty of her rail system, an invasion of 
Russian Poland seemed to be a prom- 
ising undertaking. It would at any rate 
hold Russian forces in the region and 
thus prevent their cooperation with 
those invading East Prussia further 
north. The invasion was made by two 
armies, the first under General Dankl, 
of over 300,000 men, with its base on 
Przemysl and Jaroslav, and for its ob- 
jective to push northeast to Lublin and 
Kholm, and cut and hold the Warsaw- 
Kiev railway. This done, Brest-Litovsk 
would be threatened and with it com- 
munication with Warsaw. To protect 
this army on the right and rear, a sec- 
ond army under General von Auffen- 



berg * was to advance northeast from 
Lemberg. This army mustered also 
probably 300,000 men. A third, or re- 
serve army, under the Archduke Fred- 
erick, was sent forward on Dankl's left 
in the direction of Kielce. If with this 
offensive we couple a German offensive 
coming down from the north, and the 
possibility of troops from Silesia join- 
ing hands with the 3d Austrian army, it 
must be admitted that the plan of at- 
tack was not without merits. But as a 
matter of fact, the Russians by the end 
of August, 1914, had brought into Gali- 
cia from Kiev and Odessa armies total- 
ing more than 1,000,000 men. They 
allowed Dankl to advance, practically 
unopposed, almost as far as Lublin. 
There was a battle at Krasnik, in which 
the Austrians were successful. The real 
Russian strength all this time was gath- 
ering behind Lublin and Kholm, where 
two armies under Ivanoff waited for the 
moment to strike. When September 
came, the Austrians found opposed to 
them, in this region, forces at least as 
great as their own. 

In the meantime Von Auffenberg had 
pushed on to Tomaszow, his purpose be- 
ing, as already stated, to guard Dankl's 
right. Contact was established August 
11 at Brody, and two days later at So- 
kal, where the Russians were successful. 
On the 17th began the general advance 
against Austria. The commander-in- 
chief on this front was Ruzsky (2d 
army), assisted on his left by Brusil- 
off f (3d army), who between them had 

* MORITZ, RlTTER VON AuFFENBERG, bom 

(1852) in Troppau, Silesia; became lieutenant 
(1871); field marshal (1905); Austro-Hun- 
garian Minister of War (1911); general of in- 
fantry; commander of a corps at beginning of 
European War and won victory at Kamarow; 
retired soon after; accused of plot to sell mili- 
tary secrets to Russia and imprisoned at Span- 
dau (1915). 

f Alexei ALEXEreviTCH Brusiloff, born (c. 
1860) at Kutais in the Russian Caucasus; of a 
family long distinguished in Russian military 
and political life; educated at Tiflis and in a 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



113 



over 600,000 men. On discovering the 
strength in front of him, Von Auffen- 
berg drew reinforcements from the re- 
serve army. It is possible that on both 
sides there were not far from 1,200,000 
men, with the advantage slightly in 
favor of the Russians. 

On August 17 Ruzsky attacked Von 
Auffenberg. He crossed the frontier 
on the 22d, as did Brusiloff further 
south. On the 23d Brusiloff drove the 
Austrians out of Tarnopol ; they fell 
back on the Zlota Lipa, where they 
made a stand, but were finally beaten 
back in the direction of Halicz. Ruz- 
sky in the meantime had been thrusting 
at the Austrian left and centre. The 
Austrians finally took up a strong po- 
sition 70 or 80 miles long in front of 
Lemberg, and extending from Busk in 
the north to Halicz in the south. Here 
they were attacked on August 26-27! 
by Brusiloff and Ruzsky together, and 
beaten, their right having been turned 
at Halicz, and their left thrown back. 

The result of this great battle was 
that Lemberg fell into Russian hands, 
and that the Austrians retired in dis- 
order. The losses on both sides were 
very heavy. In prisoners, the Aus- 
trians are said to have lost 100,000. 
Lemberg, on account of its rail con- 
nections, was a valuable capture. On 
September 4, after the defeat of Von 
Auffenberg, the Russians opened on 
Dankl. There had been more or less 
fighting before this date in the region 
between the two Austrian armies, e.g., 
at Tomaszow, where the Austrians 
were seriously beaten; the Russian 

military school; gained a reputation for horse- 
manship and was chosen aid to General Suk- 
homlinov, then head of the Cavalry School 
for Officers at St. Petersburg; with Grand 
Duke Nicholas he witnessed the French army 
manoeuvres; rose to be general of brigade and 
of division, and after 1910 commanded an army 
corps, being stationed successively at Lublin, 
Warsaw and Vinnitza. 



front Lublin-Kholm had itself been at- 
tacked, but without effect. Under the 
pressure of the Russians, Dankl was 
forced to fall back on a front of 75 or 
80 miles, with the Vistula on his left, 
to the river San (September 12), a re- 
treat that was a running fight between 
the Austrian rear and the Russian ad- 
vance. This struggle developed into 
genuine engagements at various points, 
as at Krasnik. 

Auffenberg, after Lemberg, took up 
another position, Grodek-Rawa-Ruska. 
He had been reen forced, and his posi- 
tion was strong. But, nevertheless, his 
left (Rawa-Ruska) was crushed, after 
a most gallant resistance lasting over a 
week, and when Grodek was carried 
(September 14) his defeat was com- 
plete. The Russians pushed on vigor- 
ously, captured Jaroslav (September 
21), and drove the fragments of Auf- 
fenberg's army into the defenses of 
Przemysl. 

The passage of the San cost the Aus- 
trians very heavily in men, in supplies, 
and war material. A Russian force 
that had crossed the Vistula at Josefov 
marched up the left bank of that river, 
and reaching the San at the same time 
as the main body, defeated an Austrian 
force on this side and took Sandomierz. 

The Russian campaign so far had 
been successful. Their victory at 
Tomaszow interposed them between the 
two Austrian armies. The defeat of the 
2d had left the 1st in a serious situa- 
tion, for which immediate retreat was 
the only remedy. This retreat was one 
succession of defeats. The general re- 
sult was the crowding of the two armies 
into the region west of Przemysl, leav- 
ing the Russians in control of eastern 
Galicia, with its railways and cities. 
Przemysl itself was invested on Sep- 
tember 26. 

After their victories in east Galicia, 



114 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



the Russians by the beginning of Oc- 
tober had crossed the three eastern 
passes of the Carpathians, and had ad- 
vanced some distance toward Cracow, 
the possession of which would have 
wrought serious harm to the Central 
Powers. But the news of the offensive 
now forming against western Poland 
put a stop to these plans, and they fell 
back to the San. 

First German Drive at Warsaw. — If, 
as has been noted, it was the German 
expectation that the Austrians would 
hold the Russians in Poland, and thus 
leave Germany free to throw her full 
weight on France, the Galician cam- 
paign must have proved a rude awak- 
ening. In spite of Tannenberg, East 
Prussia had again been invaded, and 
in the south Cracow would be the next 
objective of the Russians. But if Po- 
land could be attacked directly and its 
great fortresses captured, the Central 
Powers would be in a position to menace 
the flanks of the Russian armies, and 
by seizing their communications force 
them to withdraw. And at any rate 
it was time to do something to check 
the Russians, whose efficiency had been 
as greatly underestimated as their vic- 
tories had been unexpected. Accord- 
ingly the Central Empires opened their 
first offensive against Warsaw (Sep- 
tember 27) with Von Hindenburg (a 
few days later) in command of the Aus- 
tro-German forces. Four separate 
armies advanced — one from Thorn up 
the Vistula, another from Kalisch 
towards Lodz, and a third from Bres- 
lau towards Novo-Radomsk, the fourth 
from Cracow towards Kielce. These 
four armies numbered probably about 
1,500,000 men, of whom two-thirds were 
Germans. The advance was rapid. On 
October 8 Lodz was occupied, by the 
11th contact made with the Russians at 
Skierniewice. The southernmost army 



was on October 13 engaged in the neigh- 
borhood of Ivangorod. By the middle 
of the month the Germans were almost 
within siege-gun range of Warsaw. 
That city on the north was well pro- 
tected by the Vistula and the Narew 
with their fortresses, but the Germans 
had turned, so to say, the position by 
advancing from the south and west. 
Apparently the Russians had not con- 
templated the possibility of the offen- 
sive now developing, and had made no 
adequate preparations to defend War- 
saw. At any rate the northern army 
(Von Mackensen*) greatly outnum- 
bered the Russians available for its de- 
fense. In fact there were but few Rus- 
sians in central Poland. We have then 
by the 9th of October the following situ- 
ation: an army at the gates of War- 
saw, two others to the west to face any 
eventuality, and a fourth covering 
Ivangorod. Warsaw apparently was 
doomed, and possibly with it the whole 
of Poland. Such troops as held War- 
saw were having the worst of it. But 
on the 18th Russian reinforcements ap- 
peared, and increased on the succeeding 
days. They crossed the Vistula at No- 
vogeorgievsk, and advanced upon the 
Germans, who on the 21st were in re- 
treat. Before withdrawing, however, 
they resisted strongly, but their left 
was turned at Sochaczew. The Ger- 
mans succeeded in crossing at Josefov, 
but were annihilated on the 21st. At 

* August vox Mackensen, born (1849) at 
Haus Leipnitz, Saxony; served in the Franco- 
Prussian War; later studied at Halle; at vari- 
ous times attached to the general staff; colonel 
of the First Regiment of Hussar Body Guards 
(1894); raised to the nobility (1899); general 
of cavalry and general in command of the Sev- 
enteenth Army Corps (1908); wrote a history 
of the Hussar Body Guards and a military 
history; in European War received chief 
credit for directing the Austro-German drive 
which swept the Russians back from the Car- 
pathians across the San and resulted in the re- 
capture of Przemysl and later in the fall of 
Lemberg; received Order Pour le Merite for 
early victory (1914) at Lowicz. 



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115 



Ivangorod the Russians crossed the 
river (October 20-22) to the western 
bank, attacked the Austrian right, and 
after several days' fighting forced their 
entire army to retreat to Radom, which 
place, with Lodz, was reoccupied. At 
Kielce the Austrians on November 3 
were severely beaten. The main Ger- 
man armies, after heavy fighting around 
Rawa, Skierniewice, and Lowicz, con- 
tinued their retreat, and early in No- 
vember were once more across their 
own frontier. 

Second Offensive in Galicia. — At the 
same time with the main offensive in 
Poland the Austrian forces in Galicia, 
composed in part of Auffenberg's origi- 
nal army and in part of German troops, 
resumed the offensive, before which the 
Russians had fallen back behind the 
San. On October 18 the passage was 
attempted by the Austrians but failed. 
There was more or less fighting 
throughout this region : Bukowina had 
been cleared of Austrians and Czerno- 
witz captured. On November 4 the 
Russians had recrossed the San, and 
two days later completely defeated the 
Austrians. 

The Russians resumed their offensive 
against Cracow. The cavalry advanc- 
ing westward passed Kolo November 9, 
and next day crossed the frontier. 
This showed that the Germans had no 
idea of making any stand on the War- 
ta. Hence the Cracow movement was 
coupled with a movement against the 
Warta, directed against the left of the 
Germans, and a general advance began. 
By November 12 the Uzsok, Lupkow, 
and Dukla passes were occupied, and 
by December 6 the Russians had got 
to within 12 miles of their goal. 

On the 8th, however, they were com- 
pelled, after a battle under the walls 
of the place, to fall back, and on the 
12th the Dukla was recaptured. This 



called for a fresh withdrawal to the 
Dunajec-Biala line, past Tarnow to 
Krosno. The Dukla-Lupkow pass was 
the next to fall to the Austrians (prob- 
ably Germans), but now the Russians 
counterattacked, and succeeded in 
taking the Galician entrances of the 
western passes. 

Second Drive at Warsaw. — It was 
partly to relieve this serious threat 
against Cracow that Von Hindenburg 
opened his second offensive against 
Warsaw. By November 15, he had 
driven the Russians towards Kutno, 
who on the 18th crossed their left over 
the Bzura from Lodz westward. On 
the 19th, Von Mackensen had broken 
the enemy's lines between Lodz and 
Strykov. Into this gap he drove two 
corps ; with the Russian army cut in 
two, it looked as though a decisive suc- 
cess were at hand. But reinforcements 
coming up just in time, reestablished 
the line ; the two German corps, how- 
ever, after a most desperate struggle, 
November 24-26, in which they suffered 
frightful losses, managed to break out 
to the north. The Russians on Decem- 
ber 6 abandoned Lodz ; on December 
7 there began a three weeks' battle for 
the possession of Warsaw. When it 
closed, Warsaw was still in Russian 
hands, whose line now followed the 
Bzura-Rawka River to the west of 
Kielce through Tarnow, joining the 
forces on the Dunajec. By taking up 
this position, Lowicz, Petrikov, Tomas- 
zow, and other towns were abandoned 
to the Germans, but the line was better, 
and in war it is armies and not cities 
that count. The year closed with the 
repulse of German attacks upon this 
line of the rivers. 

Russian Campaigns; Przemysl. — In 
the winter of 1914-15, fighting contin- 
ued over the whole front from the Baltic 
through Poland along the Carpathians 



116 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



to Bukowina. A serious assault on the 
Bzura-Rawka line, including the con- 
siderable battle of Borzynov, ended in 
a German check. In the north, the 
Russians had to fall back across the 
East Prussian frontier, losing Lyck 
(Feb. 7-20). They, however, repelled 
the German attempt to reach the War- 
saw-Petrograd (St. Petersburg) rail- 
way. Ossowiec continued to distinguish 
itself by resisting a renewed German at- 
tempt to take it, and the offensive in 
this region closed with no special ad- 
vantage to the Germans. On the Na- 
rew, they were beaten (Feb. 26) near 
Prasnysz, which they had captured on 
the 24th, thereby threatening Ostro- 
lenka. 

In the south a vigorous attempt was 
made to relieve Przemysl. This in- 
volved the control of the Carpathian 
passes. One of these, Kirlibaba, was 
captured by the Russians, Jan. 17, 
1915. They already had the crest of 
Dukla, controlled Lupkow and were in 
the foothills everywhere else. To turn 
them out, three Austrian armies at- 
tacked the positions. The left made 
little headway, but east of the Lupkow, 
all the passes were taken. At Koziowa, 
a battle lasted from February into 
March, in which the Austrian assaults 
were beaten off, thus saving Stryj and 
Lemberg, and preventing the relief of 
Przemysl. In Bukowina, the Austrians 
took Czernowitz, Kolomea, and Stanis- 
lau, only to be driven out of this latter 
place, and compelled to fall back to 
the Kolomea-Czernowitz line. No relief 
therefore coming, Przemysl, after a 
siege of seven months, fell on March 
22, 1915. The Russians now renewed 
their attention to the passes ; only by 
controlling them could they hope to in- 
vade Hungary, and whether they 
should attempt this or not, it was of 
the first importance to hold the passes 



in order to protect their flank against 
attacks coming from the south. As a 
result of their efforts, the Russians 
claimed (April 12-18) the capture of a 
considerable part of the principal 
chain. But these operations had little 
or no effect on the general situation, 
any more than the Russian capture of 
Memel (March 17), which they evacuat- 
ed four days later. More serious was 
the German invasion of Courland ; there 
was an affair at Shavli (April 29) and 
Libau was entered on May 8. The Ger- 
mans had broken ground for severe ef- 
forts to be made later. 

Russian Defeat and Withdrawal. — 
These and all other contemporaneous 
events in this theatre, however, pale into 
insignificance in comparison with the 
Austro-German offensive on the Duna- 
jec line. Aroused by the unexpected 
success of the Russians so far, the Cen- 
tral Powers rose to the occasion, and 
by an application of their powers of 
organization prepared during the win- 
ter of 1914 and spring of 1915 for a 
campaign about the issue of which there 
was from the outset not a shadow of 
doubt. 

At the end of April four German 
corps stood between the Middle Pilica 
and the junction of the Nida and the 
Vistula ; on the west Galician front were 
at least 10 more corps, half German, 
half Austro-Hungarian, while the Car- 
pathian front was held by 12. The 
leader of all these forces was General 
von Mackensen. Opposed to him the 
Russians had barely 14 corps, com- 
manded by General Ivanoff, who had 
under him Dmitrieff and Brusiloff. The 
Austro-Germans for the approaching 
campaign had brought together a num- 
ber of guns, and supplies of ammuni- 
tion, more staggering to the imagina- 
tion than, their concentration of men. 
It is said that over 4000 guns were 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



117 



collected, of which over one-half ex- 
ceeded 8 inches in calibre. The work 
of preparation, which perhaps is unique 
in military history, would perhaps have 
been impossible but for the admirable 
roads, both rail and ordinary, in the 
region to the south and west of the 
scene of the conflict. The campaign 
was planned by Erich von Falkenhayn.* 

The end now sought by the Central 
Powers was to crush the Russians so 
thoroughly that they should no longer 
be a factor in the war. As early as 
April 28, Mackensen had advanced 
against Gorlice. Three days later 
(May 1) the tremendous batteries 
opened, and continued for several hours 
on the 2d. It is said that in this time 
700,000 rounds were fired. The Rus- 
sian first line was powdered out of ex- 
istence. The Austro-Germans crossed 
the Dunajec-Biala line at various 
points ; once the front broken in, Von 
Mackensen advanced sending his right 
due east to reach Dukla Pass, hoping 
to catch the Russians in Hungary be- 
fore they could make their retreat by 
it ; his left and centre changed direc- 
tion so as to face northeast. This 
manoeuvre forced the Russians to aban- 
don Tarnow and widen the gap already 
made in their lines near Gorlice. 

The campaign that followed the de- 
feat of the Russians in the battle of 
Gorlice and their dislodgment from the 
lines of the Dunajec, of the Wisloka, 

* Erich vox Falkenhayk, born (1853) at 
Burg Belchau; entered the army in youth; mili- 
tary attache to the Legation at Paris (1887); 
military instructor and favorite of the Crown 
Prince and Prince Eitel Friedrich (1889); chief 
of the general staff of the Ninth Army Corps 
(1898) ; served in China during Boxer Rebel- 
lion (1900); lieutenant general (1906); re- 
tired (1910), but became active again in the 
European War; Minister of War (1914), in 
which office he upheld the officers whose con- 
duct in Alsace resulted in the Zabern disor- 
ders; succeeded Moltke as chief of the general 
staff (December, 1914), the youngest man 
ever to hold that office, and was made a general 
of infantry. 



and of the San, respectively, consisted 
in a pursuit by the Austro-Germans 
that resulted in a withdrawal from the 
passes, in the evacuation of Bukowina 
(June 12) and in the recapture of 
Jaroslav (May 15), Stryj (May 31), 
Przemysl (June 3), and of Lemberg 
(June 22). Galicia was cleared of 
Russians. 

But as may be inferred from these 
dates, the Russians offered a stubborn 
resistance at every point and some- 
times, as at Opatov (May 15-17) and 
at the crossings of the Dniester, even 
repulsed their pursuers. The fact is 
that, although defeated and driven 
back, they had not lost their cohesion 
as troops and were ready, whenever cir- 
cumstances favored, to give a good ac- 
count of themselves. We are compelled 
to believe that in this tremendous cam- 
paign the Russians were taken by sur- 
prise, that the magnitude of the attack 
was unexpected by them. It seems to 
be reasonably certain, moreover, that 
they lacked the guns and shells to reply 
effectively to the terrible Austro-Ger- 
man artillery. 

Entire Eastern Front. — The opera- 
tions for the fall of Przemysl and Lem- 
berg must be regarded as the prelude 
of a general offensive on the entire 
Russian front from the Baltic to the 
frontier of Rumania. The immediate 
effect of the Galician campaign was to 
force the withdrawal of the Russians in 
this part of the tremendous theatre to 
a defensive position behind the Zlota 
Lipa and the upper Bug, which re- 
mained the line of separation in this 
region until August 27. On the side 
of the Central Powers it was necessary 
in this region to guard against any 
counter offensive originating in Volhy- 
nia and menacing the right of the 
forces that turned northward against 
the line Lublin-Kholm in the general of- 



118 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



fensive that now gathered headway. 
This new offensive as just stated ex- 
tended over the whole eastern front, 
along a line over 1000 miles long, and 
opened in the middle of July. But al- 
ready, on June 28, the advance had been 
begun against Lublin-Kholm. This ad- 
vance received a check, however, July 
1-7, in the severe defeat of the Aus- 
trians at Krasnik, a victory from which, 
save in the important element of time 
gained, the Russians derived no benefit. 
The German campaign had for its main 
object to bag the Russian armies. It is 
clear that the Russian situation was 
most serious. Four lines of railway 
formed their lines of communication, 
the Petrograd-Vilna-Warsaw, covered 
by the Niemen and Narew ; two interior 
lines, Siedlce-Warsaw, and Brest-Lit- 
ovsk-Ivangorod, without any natural 
defenses ; and the Kovel-Kholm-Ivango- 
rod line in the south. These four lines 
are interconnected by three others run- 
ning approximately north and south. 
If these railways could be seized by the 
Austro-Germans before the Russians 
could withdraw by them, a material part 
of the Russian forces in Poland could 
be cut off and surrounded. 

Pressure was applied everywhere, 
thus robbing the Russians of the ad- 
vantage of their interior line ; specifi- 
cally, the Vistula and the Narew and 
Lublin-Kholm lines were to be forced. 
In the north Von Biilow was to renew 
his attacks ; if successful, the Petro- 
grad-Vilna-Warsaw line would be cut. 
In the south the Austrians were to cross 
the Dniester and roll up Ivanoff's left 
wing. 

A week after the opening of the cam- 
paign the Russians had abandoned the 
line of the Bzura ; Von Gallwitz had 
crossed the Narew between Pultusk and 
Ostrolenka, where he was held by the 
stubborn resistance of the Russians. 



Further north, Mitau and Shavli were 
captured. In the south the Austrians 
failed in the Dniester region ; the offen- 
sive against Lublin-Kholm, renewed 
July 15, was successful, the Russians 
suffering a defeat at Krasnostaw. But 
they offered so stout a resistance im- 
mediately afterward, that it was not 
until July 30 that Lublin was reached. 
Campaigns around Warsaw. — But 
the Austro-Germans were too strong 
for the Russians, who had managed, 
west of Warsaw, to hold the Blonie 
lines as late as July 26. On the 30th, 
however, the Germans crossed the Vis- 
tula, 20 miles north of Ivangorod. This 
fortress fell on August 4, and Warsaw 
was evacuated on the 5th. Novogeor- 
gievsk, however, was not evacuated, as 
it was thought capable of delaying the 
German advance. It fell, however, un- 
der the fire of Von Beseler's guns on 
August 19. The necessity of abandon- 
ing Warsaw had been foreseen, and 
preparations made for withdrawal. 
Part of the forces retreated to the Na- 
rew, and part joined the forces on the 
south. This was the opportunity for 
the Austro-Germans. Could the forces 
pressing south and north from the Na- 
rew and Lublin-Kholm, respectively, 
join hands in the Siedlce-Lukow region, 
a lasting victory would have been 
achieved. But the Russians offered an 
extremely stiff resistance between the 
Narew and the Bug. They held so 
strongly on the Vyshkoff-Ostroff line 
that the Germans shifted their efforts 
to the northeastward between Ostro- 
lenka and Vilna. Here they did break 
through on August 9 and on the 10th 
captured the fortress of Lomza. But 
even after this success their advance 
was slow; and in the meantime the Rus- 
sians had succeeded in escaping. In 
the south an equally stiff resistance was 
offered. Here in the neighborhood of 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



119 



Lubartoff a serious battle was fought 
August 6-9; although a Russian de- 
feat, it gained time for the withdrawal 
of the last forces further north and 
west. 

The attempt made against Riga 
August 9 to September 8 came to 
nought, but on August 17 Kovno was 
taken and the line of the Niemen thus 
broken. The effect of this German vic- 
tory was the abandonment of Brest- 
Litovsk and a withdrawal along the 
whole front from Ossowiec (abandoned 
Aug. 22) to Vladimir Volynski. Grodno 
was evacuated September 1-2. In the 
south, Kovel was (Aug. 23) entered by 
the Austro-Germans, and the Russians 
were compelled to evacuate their line of 
the Zlota-Lipa and the upper Bug. 
Pinsk was occupied. 

Thus, four weeks after the fall of 
Warsaw, the Central Powers were in 
full possession of the entire line Nie- 
men-Bug. They had failed to capture 
the Russian army, but Poland had fall- 
en into their hands with its fortresses. 
They now directed their attention to 
the capture of the railway running from 
Vilna to Rovno across the Pripet 
Marshes. East of this railway lies a 
vast stretch of marshland not traversed 
by any other north and south line; if 
this road could be taken from the Rus- 
sians, the Austro-Germans would have 
a line of communication between their 
northern and southern theatres of op- 
eration, while the Russians would find 
their own forces cut in two by the 
marshes. The operations of the Ger- 
mans north of the marshes were success- 
ful. On September 19, the evacuation 
of Vilna was ordered. In the south, on 
August 27, the Austro-Germans had 
renewed their offensive. The Russians 
withdrew into Volhynia, were beaten at 
and lost Lutsk, and forced to cross the 
Styr. Dubno was entered on the 7th. 



But on the 8th the Russians struck 
back, inflicting a defeat on the Austro- 
Germans at Tarnopol and again at 
Tremblowa. On the 23d they succeeded 
in recapturing Lutsk. 

Baltic Campaign. — As may be im- 
agined, the fall of Vilna did not end 
the Austro-German offensive. Once in 
possession of it, the Germans advanced 
eastward, sending five cavalry divisions 
towards Polotsk. Detachments of cav- 
alry were also sent out against the 
Molodetchno-Polotsk railway, while 
strong forces were converging on 
Minsk. Just north of the Pripet 
Marshes another force undertook an 
enveloping movement against the line 
Minsk-Bobrinsk ; that is, a movement 
over a front of 150 miles was initiated, 
partly to cut off, if possible, the re- 
treating Russians, and partly to con- 
firm the German hold on the Riga- 
Dvinsk-Vilna line. Contact was made 
in the region around Vileika. After 
several days' fighting the Russians 
managed to straighten their front, and 
even took the offensive. They cleared 
the Polotsk line, held on around Vileika 
and Molodetchno, and further south 
succeeded in checking the German ad- 
vance. It is possible that the need of 
troops in Serbia and on the western 
front may explain the German failure 
to continue the offensive. 

In the meantime an important at- 
tack was being made on Dvinsk. On 
September 24* a battle was fought be- 
tween the Dvina and Lake Drisviaty, 
20 miles south of Dvinsk, in which the 
Germans made no gains of any conse- 
quence. Later, October 4-18, they con- 
centrated their efforts between Illukst, 
15 miles northwest of the city, and Lake 
Sventen, five or six miles due west. 
There was severe fighting in this re- 
gion, but with no particular advantage 
to the Germans until October 25, when 



120 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



they captured Illukst, and a day or two 
later made other advances. But these 
gains were more than neutralized by 
the Russian counter offensive, which 
opened October 31, between Lake Sven- 
ten and Ilsen (battle of Platokovna, a 
village between the lakes), and resulted 
in a German defeat. The Russians fol- 
lowed up this victory by further ad- 
vances to the north and northwest of 
Illukst, and towards that place itself. 
By the end of November, fighting ceased 
in this particular sector. 

Riga. — The Germans were no more 
successful in front of Riga. This city, 
on the right bank of the Dvina, is pro- 
tected on the southwest by the Tirul 
swamp, crossed by the railway and road 
from Mitau through Olai, which con- 
stitutes from this direction the only 
possible approach. The German lines 
about mid-October ran south from the 
sea along the river Aa to Mitau, and 
thence curved eastward to Friedrich- 
stadt and Jacobstadt on the Dvina, 
halfway between Riga and Dvinsk. 
Three possible lines of attack existed — 
the Tukkum-Riga railway between 
Lake Babit (west of Riga) and the sea; 
the Mitau-Olai line; and one from the 
southeast, from an island (Dalen) in 
the river. On October 14 the Germans 
opened, and managed by October 20 to 
reach the river at Borkowitz, 20 miles 
up. But they failed to cross the river 
in spate of all their efforts. Their 
centre in the meantime had got to Olai, 
but could go no farther. During the 
first half of November they tried the 
first line mentioned above, but on the 
10th the Russians, assisted by their 
fleet, beat them back, and later pushed 
on beyond Kemmern. These attempts 
to take Riga proved a failure. 

In the beginning of December, 1915, 
the Germans captured the Borsemiinde 
position on the Dvina, but at Dvinsk 



continued to lose ground about Lake 
Sventen and at Illukst. On the other 
hand they beat off with great loss an 
attack on Postavy, 50 miles south of 
Dvinsk. 

During the last ten days of March 
the Russians developed without effect 
an offensive against the bridgehead at 
Jacobstadt and the railroad thence to 
Mitau. Similarly south of Dvinsk they 
were defeated near Lake Narocz, where 
their objective was Sventziany, on the 
Vilna-Dvinsk railroad. 

Soutliem Sector. — We must now 
turn south to see what was happening 
in that region. Three days after tak- 
ing Lutsk (September 23) the Rus- 
sians abandoned it, and took up a po- 
sition to the east extending from Rafa- 
lovka through Czartorysk and Kolki to 
a point south of Dubno. Rovno was be- 
hind them. The first attempt to con- 
verge on that place failed. Von Lin- 
singen then early in October advanced 
against Sarny, where the Kovel-Kiev 
railway crosses the Vilna-Rovno line. 
The capture of Sarny would have meant 
the loss to the Russians of this latter 
railway. During the next two months 
Von Linsingen and Brusiloff were at 
grips on the middle Styr. 

Along the line of the Styr River the 
struggle continued for the control of 
the left bank. At the end of the month 
the Russians took the offensive on the 
Bessarabian frontier, and advanced 
along two main lines — first, the Odessa- 
Czernowitz-Lemberg railroad ; second, 
farther north, the Kiev-Kovel-Warsaw 
line. In the first region their efforts, 
centred on the capture of the Buko- 
winan capital, which had already 
changed hands five times in the course 
of the war, met with failure. 

In the region of the Styr River, how- 
ever, they had better fortune. Early in 
January they succeeded in crossing this 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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line north of the Kovel-Sarny railroad, 
and in holding 1 on to their position. 
Thereupon the village of Czartorysk 
became a storm centre, and was finally 
captured by the Russians by assault. 

Early in February, 1916, they 
achieved some gain in the Lutsk-Rovno- 
Dubno sector ; the Germans were re- 
ported as standing on the defensive 
along the Pruth, the Dniester, and the 
Sereth. Further Russian advances also 
were reported, the most important 
being the capture of Uscieczko, on the 
Dniester, thus again threatening 
Czernowitz. 

In April, 1916, Brusiloff succeeded 
Ivanoff in command of the armies from 
the Pripet Marshes to Rumania, and 
began preparations for a general offen- 
sive on this line. Heavily fortified as 
it was, the Austrians had believed it to 
be so strong that they had transferred 
many of its defenders to other fronts. 

The Russians opened northwest from 
Rovno through Lutsk towards Kovel ; 
west along the Rovno-Lemberg railway 
towards Dubno ; northwest from Tarno- 
pol towards Lemberg; and south across 
the Pruth against Czernowitz. Great 
success attended the effort. Lutsk, 
abandoned by the Austrians, fell on 
June 6; Dubno on June 10, with 35,000 
prisoners and 30 guns as additional 
prize; farther south on the same day 
Buczacz and Potok Zloty were entered 
and many more prisoners taken. But 
now the resistance of the Central Pow- 
ers stiffened from Tarnopol to Kolki, 
and the Russian advance was checked, 
giving way to obstinate fighting by both 
sides. It is believed that the Germans 
came to the Austrian rescue on this 
portion of the front. Beaten at Do- 
bronobtze (18,000 prisoners, 10 guns), 
the Austrians, June 17, abandoned 
Czernowitz. The effect of its fall was 
greatly to imperil Pflanzer's army. A 



small part of this army was pushed 
over the frontier into Rumania and 
interned; the main body, cut off from 
communication with Lemberg by the 
capture of Kolomea and the threat 
against Stanislau, was crowded against 
the flanks of the Carpathians. 

In this great movement of the Rus- 
sians the significant thing was the loss 
of the Austrians in prisoners (250,000) 
and in killed, wounded, and missing (un- 
known), an irreparable loss. Hungary 
alone admitted a loss of 600,000 men 
in this campaign. In ground gained, 
the Russians had recovered about 15,- 
000 square miles of territory. By the 
middle of July (1916) the Russians 
were still some miles from the railroad 
centre of Kovel ; and in their progress 
towards Lemberg, had reached the 
Zlota Lipa River. 

The situation on the eastern front 
became so serious that the German Gen- 
eral Staff determined to reenforce the 
weakened Austrians with German 
troops. Consequently, General von 
Linsingen was sent at the head of 
200,000 men. These were sent against 
the Russians west and northwest of 
Lutsk. Their presence was immediately 
felt, inasmuch as they won important 
successes at Kiselin and Lokatchi. 
Many Russian prisoners fell into their 
hands. The Russian offensive was 
checked effectively for the time being 
at the Stokhod River. The advance 
on Lemberg was also stopped at the 
Galician frontier at Brody. 

The advance in the south neverthe- 
less went on almost as rapidly as be- 
fore. After the capture of Czerno- 
witz the Russians again overran the 
Bukowina. They proceeded down the 
railroad to Radautz, cut off the re- 
treating Austrians and took over 1000 
prisoners. West of Czernowitz the op- 
position was stiffer, but on July 1 the 



122 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



important railroad junction at Kolo- 
mea was captured and a little later the 
railroad running from Lemberg into 
Hungary was cut at Delaytyn. This 
seriously threatened the Austrians in 
the north. New gains were now made 
in the Kovel sector. They crossed the 
Stokhod River at Ulgi by means of 
pontoon bridges and made another 
great thrust at Kovel in the face of ex- 
tremely heavy resistance by Von Lin- 
singen. On July 16 they captured 30 
guns and 13,000 prisoners at the battle 
of Sviniusky. On the 28th, they cap- 
tured Brody and advanced upon Lem- 
berg. Lemberg was now threatened on 
three sides and was in serious danger 
of being enveloped. 

The Russians now seemed to concen- 
trate all their efforts to capture this 
stronghold. They advanced from 
Dubno and Tarnopol on the north and 
from Stanislau on the south. They 
captured this latter place with very 
little effort. In the Carpathians the 
Russians also continued their successes, 
by capturing Jablonica. 

South of Brody the Russians cap- 
tured an entire ridge held by the Teu- 
tonic forces on the 5th and 6th of 
August. The ridge contained six vil- 
lages. More than 5000 prisoners were 
taken. On the 8th 8,500 more prisoners 
were taken in eastern Galicia. The 
Central Allies continued to retreat in 
this region as the Russians continued to 
gain on the Sereth and Zlota Lipa riv- 
ers. On the 14th the town of Tusto- 
baby, a strongly fortified point, was 
taken. This put the Russians several 
miles west of General Bothmer's front 
and menaced his flank and rear. So 
serious was his position that he was 
compelled to abandon the Strypa River 
line. Immediately upon the fall of this 
line General Letchitsky struck on both 
sides of the Dniester. He drove the 



Austrians out of the Jablonica Pass 
and thus opened up the way to Kuty. 

During September the Russians were 
able to make little progress toward 
Lemberg. They were checked at Halicz 
and were not able to advance on the 
Kovel-Vladimir-Volynsky line. Heavy 
fighting occurred at Brzezany and very 
heavy assaults were made further south. 
The results of these were the abandon- 
ment by the Germans of the entire 
Strypa and Zlota Lipa river lines. 
Now the only natural boundary between 
the Russians and Lemberg was the Gnila 
Lipa River. All attempts to take 
Halicz, however, failed and a strong 
German counter offensive compelled 
the Russians to give up much of the 
newly captured territory. They also 
lost about 5000 men in prisoners. 

In October the Russians renewed 
their assaults in the general direction 
of Lemberg. On October 4 the Zlota 
Lipa was crossed after a severe three 
days' battle south of Brzezany. North 
of Lemberg intense fighting occurred 
along the Brody-Lemberg railroad. 
Along the Stokhod the Russians merely 
kept on the defensive in order to keep 
the Teutonic allies from starting an of- 
fensive movement. The latter, never- 
theless, attempted to relieve the pres- 
sure on Lemberg by beginning an offen- 
sive movement in the Carpathian Moun- 
tains. This extended from the Ruman- 
ian border to the Jablonica Pass, a 
front of 75 miles. The Russians were 
compelled to immediately give way in 
the Negra valley. 

West of Lutsk the Russians made 
some gains south of the Stokhod along 
the Luga River. This enabled them 
seriously to menace the city of Vladi- 
mir-Volynsky which controlled the 
southern entrance to Kovel. The be- 
ginning of the severe Russian winter 
now seemed to put an end to the Rus- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



123 



sian forward movements and the Teu- 
tons took the opportunity to strengthen 
their lines. Their weakest point was 
along the Stokhod. They advanced 
here as well as on the Navayuvke, 
which flows near Halicz. On Novem- 
ber 9 an extremely heavy attack was 
made on Russian positions at Bkro- 
bowa in Volhynia. The Russians, after 
savage resistance, were compelled to fall 
back to their second line of trenches. 
Another German blow at Dorna Watra 
also was successful and compelled the 
Russians to relinquish newly won posi- 
tions. In this latter engagement they 
lost over 4000 prisoners. As a result 
of the taking of a bridgehead on the 
Stokhod the German hold on Halicz 
was considerably strengthened. 

In December, 1916, and January, 
1917, the entire eastern front was prac- 
tically quiet. The Germans contented 
themselves with small sorties and trench 
raids in order to protect their positions 
in Volhynia. The chief Russian activi- 
ties during these months were in the 
south where they attempted to relieve 
the tremendous pressure being exerted 
on Rumania. Their aim was to threat- 
en Von Falkenhayn's rear by crossing 
the mountains and securing the rail- 
roads which were the arteries which fed 
his troops. The main point of attack 
through the Trotus valley was unsuc- 
cessful, and by the middle of December 
was abandoned. 

In order to relieve this great Teutonic 
pressure on Rumania, the Russians be- 
gan an offensive in the Riga sector dur- 
ing the first week of January, 1917. 
They attacked the German lines in the 
Lake Babit region west of Riga and 
advanced more than a mile, capturing 
a fortified position between the Tirul 
swamp and the Aa River. Heavy 
fighting, usually successful to the Rus- 
sians, occurred along the Dvina and 



south of Dvinsk as well as in the neigh- 
borhood of Vilna. These gains were 
held in the face of strong German coun- 
ter attacks. 

During the third week of January the 
Russian offensive appeared to have 
broken down. They were compelled to 
release their hold on the newly won 
ground between the Tirul swamp and 
the Aa. On the 25th the Germans at- 
tacked on both banks of the Aa and 
captured several fortified positions 
along with 2000 prisoners. Strong 
Russian counter attacks failed and 
towards the last part of the month they 
were driven back an additional two- 
thirds of a mile. For the participa- 
tion of the Russians in the Rumanian 
campaign see Southern Theatre, Ru- 
mania. 

Russian Revolution. — On March 9, 
1917, began one of the greatest events 
in world history. That was the Rus- 
sian revolution. Its immediate cause 
was the inefficient handling of food sup- 
plies in Petrograd. Its remote cause 
was the growth of a democratic Russia, 
which could no longer be controlled by 
the Czar and his bureaucratic, pro-Ger- 
man government. A vast majority of 
the Russian people who felt that the 
overthrow of the Czar would be a hard 
task were agreeably surprised at the 
ease with which it was consummated. 

The first institution attacked was the 
cabinet. The revolutionary army 
rushed into the administrative build- 
ings and arrested or executed the for- 
mer premier, Sturmer, a Germanophile, 
Protopopoff, the Minister of Interior, 
Golitzin, the premier, Rittich, the Min- 
ister of Agriculture and many other 
conservative bureaucrats. The Duma 
immediately took control of the govern- 
ment and appointed a Committee of 
Safety headed by Michael Rodzianko, 
President of the Duma. A delegation 



124 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



was immediately sent to the Czar de- 
manding his resignation. The Czar 
abdicated, giving the throne to his 
brother, Michael Alexandrovitch. An- 
other delegation was sent to Michael 
which compelled him to give up his claim 
to the throne. Democratic rule in Pet- 
rograd immediately began to destroy 
all traces of the Romanoff dynasty. 
The Secret Service, most detestable to 
the Russians, was abolished. The for- 
tress of St. Peter and St. Paul, com- 
parable to the Bastile, was captured, 
and all the political prisoners released. 
The Winter Palace, scene of Bloody 
Sunday in 1905, was taken over as a 
meeting place for the Duma. Even the 
orthodox church, which was a strong- 
hold of Czarism, came over to the side 
of the revolutionists. This event was 
of almost as great importance as the 
overthrow of the Czar himself. 

The Committee of Safety set the new 
government in motion by appointing a 
cabinet. It was composed of the best 
men in Russia. Prince George Lvoff 
was made Premier. He was of royalist 
descent and a man of untiring energy, 
great business experience and a thor- 
ough democrat. The Minister of For- 
eign Affairs was Paul Miliukoff,* who 
was chiefly responsible for the over- 
throw of the Stiirmer ministry. The 
Minister of War and Navy was Alex- 
ander Guchkoff, Minister of Agricul- 
ture, Shingareff, Minister of Justice, 

* Milyukov, Pavel Nikolaevitch. Born 
(1859) near St. Petersburg. Studied in Mos- 
cow and tutor in history at the university 
(1886-95). Banished from Russia because of 
liberal views; served as professor of history 
at University of Sofia (1897-98); member of 
faculty of University of Chicago (1901-05), 
where he delivered lectures on historical and 
political subjects. Returned to Russia on out- 
break of revolution of 1905 and was im- 
prisoned. Elected to first Duma as Constitu- 
tional Democrat. Election annulled and ar- 
rested, but soon liberated. Member of Balkan 
Committee of Inquiry which investigated con- 
duct of War of 1913. Wrote a number of 
books dealing with Russia. 



Kerensky,f who was to play a promi- 
nent part in the later history of the 
revolution, Minister of Education, 
Manuiloff, Minister of Communica- 
tions, Nekrasoff, Minister of Trade, 
Konovaloff, and Controller of the State, 
Godneff. Roditcheff, a strong advocate 
of the rights of free nationalities, was 
appointed Governor-General of Fin- 
land. The Jews were given political 
and religious freedom. The leaders of 
the Zemstvos were ordered to take over 
the governorship of the provinces. 

The first country to recognize the 
provisional government was the United 
States, which sent a message of recog- 
nition through Ambassador Francis on 
March 22. Great Britain, France and 
Italy did likewise the next day. The 
new government was put in a smooth 
running order in a week. Internal 
abuses were done away with and the 
work of reorganizing the army was un- 
dertaken. Grand Duke Nicholas was 
removed as Commander-in-Chief and 
General M. V. Alexieff was appointed 
his successor. 

Events moved rapidly throughout all 
the Russias during the next few weeks. 
Czar Nicholas was imprisoned in Tsars- 
koe Selo, but was later removed to 
Tobolsk. An excess war profits tax 
was levied on all war industries. All 
the imperial lands and monasteries 
were confiscated. In the cities a mania 
for organization raged. Trade unions 
sprang up and the 8-hour working day 
appeared in almost all the cities. Even 
the peasants organized a council of 
peasants' deputies. One hundred thou- 
sand exiles made a triumphant journey 

f Kekexsky, Alexaxder. Born at Simbirsk. 
Graduated from University of Petrograd in 
law. Became commissioner of oaths in Petro- 
grad. Specialized in political prosecutions, 
taking side of political offenders. Elected to 
Fourth Duma and became its leader because of 
ability as orator. For short time President of 
Russian Republic set tip by revolution. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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across Russia from Siberia. Premier 
Lvoff stated on April 10th, "The ob- 
ject of independent Russia is a perma- 
nent peace based on the right of all 
nations to determine their own destiny." 
Kerensky stated that if the German 
people would throw off the yoke of au- 
tocracy, the provisional government 
would offer preliminary peace negotia- 
tions. 

Despite the celerity and thorough- 
ness with which the provisional govern- 
ment took over the reins of authority, 
there were signs of unrest throughout 
the country. A party of Russian radi- 
cals under the leadership of Lenine,* 
was allowed to pass through Germany 
from Switzerland to attend a Socialist 
conference at Stockholm. Another dis- 
turbing element was the Council of 
Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates. 
This body, whose name is self-explana- 
tory, passed a resolution of April 16, 
stating that it was necessary for it to 
exercise influence and control over the 
provisional government and called upon 
the people to back it up as the only 
body able to put down any reactionary 
movement. They took military matters 
into their own hands and arrested sev- 
eral conservative officers. 

In the first two weeks of May a de- 
cided breach appeared between the 
government and the Council. It oc- 
curred over the war aims of the new 
government. After a series of radical 

* Lenine, Nikolai. Leader with Leon Trotz- 
ky of the Russian Bolsheviki. Real name 
Vladimir Ilyitch Uulyanoff. Born (about 
1870) at Simbirsk on the Volga. Of noble 
birth. Became prominent shortly after 1890 as 
leader of radical Social Democrats. Insisted on 
literal application of Marxian theories. Elected 
to second Duma after revolution of 1905 and 
later exiled. Returned after revolution just 
after resignation of Miliukoff and began to 
preach immediate peace and general confisca- 
tion. Attacked both Germany and France in 
his paper the Pravda. Author on socialistic 
subjects. Most important works, The Develop- 
ment of Capitalism in Russia; The Soviets at 
Work. 



outbreaks headed by Lenine, the Coun- 
cil demanded that the government as- 
sert its aims. This was done when a 
note signed by Miliukoff was sent to 
the Allied countries to the effect that 
Russia pledged herself against a sep- 
arate peace and asked for a cordial re- 
newal of bonds between Russia and 
the Allies. The members of the Coun- 
cil vigorously protested against this 
stand and stated that they would com- 
pel the government to accept their views 
or else resign. Hostile demonstrations 
occurred in the streets of Petrosrad. 
Parleying between the Council and the 
government went on for several days 
which resulted in the weakening of the 
latter. General Korniloff and Minis- 
ter of War Guchkoff resigned because 
the Council practically took all power 
from their hands. Appeals to the pa- 
triotism of the soldiers and workmen 
were of no avail. 

On May 15, the Council suddenly de- 
termined to accept a suggestion offered 
by Kerensky, some time previously, to 
form a coalition government. This de- 
cision was issued in the form of a mani- 
festo and also declared against a sep- 
arate peace and fraternizing between 
German and Russian soldiers. Peace 
was to be brought about by an appeal 
to the socialists of Austria and Ger- 
many to overthrow autocracy. 

Foreign Minister Miliukoff resigned 
on May 16 because of a dispute in the 
government over the question of coali- 
tion. Thereupon the cabinet was en- 
tirely reorganized. Tereschtenko re- 
placed Miliukoff and Kerensky became 
Minister of War. Kerensky was a So- 
cial Revolutionist and one of the most 
popular men in Russia. The day be- 
fore the coalition cabinet was formed, 
President Wilson announced the per- 
sonnel of a special mission (headed by 
Elihu Root) which was to go to Russia 



126 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



to counteract German influences favor- 
ing a separate peace. He also an- 
nounced the sending of a railroad com- 
mission which was to aid in the recon- 
struction of Russian railroads. 

The Root mission arrived in Russia 
on June 4, 1917, and proceeded at 
once to Petrograd, where on June 15 
Mr. Root delivered to the head of the 
provisional government a communica- 
tion from President Wilson, a brief 
summary of which follows : 

In view of the approaching visit of 
the American delegation to Russia, 
President Wilson desired to express the 
friendship of the American people for 
the people of Russia and to discuss the 
means of cooperation for carrying the 
war to a successful conclusion. At the 
same time he thought it necessary to 
repeat the reasons for America's en- 
try into the war. 

America was seeking no material 
profit. She was seeking no aggran- 
dizement, but was fighting "for the 
liberation of peoples everywhere from 
the aggressions of autocratic forces." 

The war is beginning to go against 
Germany and it is using propaganda 
on both sides of the sea. She has suc- 
ceeded in linking together nation after 
nation in an intrigue directed at the 
peace and liberty of the world. This 
intrigue must be broken up, but cannot 
be unless all wrongs are undone and 
measures taken to prevent their being 
done again. 

The German government is trying to 
have the war end in the restoration of 
the status quo ante, but as this was 
the cause of the war, the status must 
be altered so that such things can never 
happen again. "We are fighting for 
the liberty, the self-government, and 
the undictated development of all peo- 
ples." All wrongs are to be first right- 
ed and safeguards erected to prevent 



their recurrence. The principle to be 
followed in this settlement is : "No peo- 
ple must be forced under sovereignty 
under which it does not wish to live." 
No territories to change hands except 
for benefit of peoples. No indemnities 
to be required except in payment of 
manifest wrongs. All readjustments of 
power to be made to secure future 
peace of world. 

As a guarantee the nations of the 
world should combine their forces to se- 
cure peace and justice. Now is the 
time for the nations to unite, for if 
they stand together victory is theirs. 

The mission returned to the United 
States in the first week in August, 1917, 
and at once made a report to the presi- 
dent. On August 25 Secretary Lan- 
sing, for the president, sent the fol- 
lowing communication to the Russian 
Ambassador in response to a note from 
him transmitting a commission from the 
Russian minister of foreign affairs: 

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowl- 
edge the receipt of your note of the 3rd instant 
in which you transcribe a communication from 
the minister of foreign affairs of Russia to 
the government of the United States. 

A translation of that communication has been 
furnished to the president, who, in full appre- 
ciation of the vast task confronting the pro- 
visional government of Russia in the recon- 
struction of its forces, and of the energy with 
which that government is endeavoring, in the 
face of disloyalty and enemy-inspired propa- 
ganda, to uphold the good faith of Russia, 
welcomes the assurance now given by the pro- 
visional government of Russia of its intention, 
of which the president has had no doubt, of 
being deterred by no difficulty in pursuing the 
war to a final triumph. No less gratifying to 
the president is the announcement, by that 
government that, like the United States, Rus- 
sia consecrates all its forces and all its re- 
sources to this end. With this tenacity of pur- 
pose moving all the allied governments, there 
can be no doubt of the outcome of the conflict 
now raging. 

I ask you to be so good as to give to your 
government renewed expression of the presi- 
dent's deep sympathy with them in the burden 
they have assumed and in the obstacles they 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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have encountered, and are encountering, and 
his confidence that, inspired and impelled by 
their patriotic efforts and guidance, there will 
emerge from the present conflict a regenerated 
Russia founded upon those great principles of 
democracy, freedom and equality, right and 
justice. 

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances 
of my highest consideration. 

The reorganized cabinet declared 
that it stood for a general peace only 
and that it favored no annexations and 
no indemnities.. Within a week internal 
dissension caused a partial downfall of 
the cabinet. Strikes caused by the ex- 
orbitant demands of the laborers oc- 
curred daily throughout Russia. The 
Kronstadt Committee of the Council of 
Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates de- 
clared their independence of the Pro- 
visional Government, and General Alex- 
ieff resigned as Commander-in-Chief of 
the army. He was succeeded by Gen- 
eral Brusiloff. The outstanding figure 
in the Revolution now was the Minister 
of War, Kerensky. It was only his 
eloquence and patriotism that held in 
abeyance the complete collapse of the 
economic and military forces of the 
government. Backed by the All-Rus- 
sian Council of Peasant Deputies, which 
voted against a separate peace, and for 
a vigorous prosecution of the war, he 
introduced strong disciplinary methods 
into the army. 

The attention of the country and 
government was now given to the in- 
ternal political situation. On June 8, 
a meeting was held by the commercial, 
industrial and banking institutions. 
This body declared against a separate 
peace. On June 12, a committee of 
the Duma, composed of 61 members, 
met to plan for a meeting of a Con- 
stituent Assembly, which was to draft 
a permanent constitution for Russia 
and to solve internal economic, indus- 
trial and racial problems. Both men 



and women were to be allowed to vote 
for the deputies. Changes were made 
by the government whereby the can- 
tons and communes, which heretofore 
had no local self-government, were to 
be governed by peasant administrators 
elected by universal suffrage. A law 
was also promulgated which gave Fin- 
land complete internal autonomy. All 
anti-Jewish laws were repealed. 

On July 17, there occurred serious 
riots in Petrograd between the Radical 
Socialist element under Lenine and gov- 
ernment forces. The purposes of these 
anarchistic demonstrations were to 
overthrow the provisional government 
and to recall the armies from the fronts. 
After four days of heavy fighting in 
the streets the rioters were dispersed 
and their leaders ordered arrested. 
Lenine escaped. Another situation 
which caused five cabinet members to re- 
sign was the Ukrainian problem. The 
Ukrainian party demanded autonomy 
for the region in southwest Russia and 
part of Galicia. It was their demand 
that autonomy be granted immediately 
that caused the five Constitutional Dem- 
ocrats to resign from the cabinet. 

On July 20, Lvoff, the Prime Min- 
ister, resigned. Kerensky was appoint- 
ed head of the cabinet and also kept 
the portfolio of War and Munitions. 
He was made a virtual dictator with 
unlimited power. He later became the 
President of the Russian Republic. His 
government was backed up by the Joint 
Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Council and of the All-Russia Council 
of Peasant Delegates. Kerensky im- 
mediately ordered all deserters to be 
shot and all revolutionary agitators to 
be arrested wherever found. General 
Brusiloff resigned on August 2 and was 
succeeded by General Korniloff. The 
radical disturbances and the spreading 
of anti-war propaganda had completely 



128 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



demoralized the army, with the result 
that they retreated everywhere on the 
Galician front. 

Owing to the serious condition of the 
entire country, Premier Kerensky called 
together an "Extraordinary National 
Council" to meet at Moscow on Aug. 
26, 1917. He determined not to wait 
for the meeting of the Constituent As- 
sembly. The conference was composed 
of 2500 men, representing practically 
all the parties in Russia. The internal 
conditions of the country were outlined 
by members of the cabinet, and the con- 
dition of the army was outlined by Gen- 
eralissimo Korniloff. 

President Wilson on August 26, 
1917, sent the following greeting to 
the members of the Extraordinary Na- 
tional Council: 

"President of the National Council Assem- 
bly, Moscoio: I take the liberty to send to the 
members of the great council now meeting in 
Moscow the cordial greetings of their friends, 
the people of the United States, to express 
their confidence in the ultimate triumph of 
ideals of democracy and self-government against 
all enemies within and without, and to give their 
renewed assurance of every material and moral 
assistance they can extend to the government 
of Russia in the promotion of the common 
cause in which the two nations are unselfishly 
united." 

The conference had the authority to 
take direct action, but it clearly showed 
the division of the country. On the 
one hand was the socialistic element, 
represented by Kerensky, and on the 
other hand the conservative bourgeoisie 
element, represented by the commanders 
of the armies and the constitutional 
democrats. The radical Bolsheviki ele- 
ment, which was to play a commanding 
part later, was not very strongly repre- 
sented because of repressive measures 
taken by the government. Almost con- 
temporaneously with the Moscow con- 
ference came the announcement on Sep- 



tember 3 of the fall of Riga (see be- 
low). The effect on Russia was tre- 
mendous. Monarchist plots were dis- 
covered, and Petrograd feared that the 
German army would advance on the 
capital. The government was severely 
criticized for the lack of discipline in 
the army. 

The crisis came on September 9, when 
General Korniloff revolted against the 
provisional government. A representa- 
tive of the Duma called on Kerensky 
and demanded that he turn all the pow- 
ers of the government over to General 
Korniloff. Kerensky refused outright 
and then moved with characteristic dis- 
patch and resolution. He deposed 
Korniloff, arrested his envoy, declared 
Petrograd and Moscow in a state of 
siege and asked for and received the 
combined backing of the Council of Sol- 
diers and Workmen and the Peasants' 
Council. Kerensky himself became the 
Commander-in-Chief of the army and 
advanced to meet the army Korniloff 
was leading against Petrograd. It had 
advanced to within 30 miles of Petro- 
grad when the entire revolt collapsed, 
chiefly through the winning over to the 
government's side of General Alexieff, 
who had at first favored the revolution. 

On Sept. 27, 1917, there assembled at 
Moscow a Democratic Congress, called 
into being by the Workmen's and Sol- 
diers' Central Council. It consisted of 
1200 members from all over Russia and 
was under the control of the ultra-radi- 
cals or Bolsheviki (majority). The 
congress provided for a parliament 
which was to have a consultative func- 
tion. Kerensky, who organized a new 
coalition cabinet without consulting the 
congress, accepted the idea of the par- 
liament, which was to be called the 
Temporary Council of the Russian Re- 
public. The parliament had the right 
to interpolate the government, but the 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



129 



latter was in no way responsible to the 
former. This body was to exist until 
the Constituent Assembly met in De- 
cember, 1917. 

Late in October, the Bolsheviki lead- 
ers stated in no uncertain tones that 
Kerensky's government had lost the 
confidence of the real revolutionary 
party of the country and that it soon 
would be replaced by them. On No- 
vember 1, Kerensky gave a statement 
to the Associated Press, which showed 
that he had practically given up all 
hope of restoring civil order in Russia 
and that urgent help was needed from 
the Allies if Russia was to continue the 
war. This was his last official utter- 
ance to the public. 

Operations of the Russian Armies 
under the Reiwlution. — After the break- 
down of the Russian offensive on the 
Aa River at the beginning of 1917, the 
Russian front was comparatively quiet 
until the Russian revolution was well 
under way. The situation on the entire 
front was deplorable. Discipline had 
completely broken down. Generals 
were appointed and removed or they 
resigned. The orders issued by the of- 
ficers had to be approved by the men 
themselves. Fraternization between the 
Russian and German soldiers was car- 
ried on to a large extent and could not 
be checked. The situation could not 
have been much worse. As a result 
of this demoralization the Germans and 
Austrians were able to remove several 
divisions from the Russian front for 
use on other fronts. What fighting 
was done was spasmodic and of a local 
character. 

When Kerensky came into supreme 
power in Russia he reestablished mili- 
tary discipline in the army and inspired 
the officers and men with a strong anti- 
German spirit. The result of Keren- 
sky's efforts was the beginning of a 



strong offensive from Brzezany to 
Zloczow on the upper stretches of the 
Zlota Lipa River. The objective was 
the capture of Lembcrg. Brusiloff's 
army surprised the world with their 
vigor of assault and their seemingly lim- 
itless supply of ammunition. Brusil- 
off made fruitless attempts to break 
through at Brzezany and Zloczow and 
then suddenly shifted his attack south 
of the Dniester, in the neighborhood of 
Stanislau, where the Austrian and Ger- 
man lines met. The weight of the on- 
slaught broke the Austrian line and the 
Russian forces pushed through and 
crossed the LukWa and Lomnica rivers. 
They then occupied Kalucz, which had 
been the Austrian Army headquarters. 
This town was on the Lemberg-Stanis- 
lau railway. Then the town of Halicz 
was taken by storm. So far 50,000 
prisoners and vast quantities of war 
material had been taken. A wedge 20 
miles long and 10 miles deep had been 
driven into the Austro-German line. 

This drive turned out to be of no 
avail. Various sections of the Russian 
army mutinied with the result that the 
entire army was compelled to retire all 
along the front. On July 19, the Ger- 
mans began a countermovement and 
penetrated the Russian positions on a 
wide front near Zloczow. Russian 
trenches near Brzezany were occupied 
on the next day, owing to the mutiny of 
the extreme socialist troops. The whole 
line in Galicia now began to retire. The 
Germans and Austrians occupied Tar- 
nopol, Stanislau, Nadworna, Czerno- 
witz, Kolomea and drove the Russians 
across their own border out of Galicia. 
Spasmodic attempts to take the offen- 
sive in the north to relieve the pres- 
sure in the south were frustrated by mu- 
tiny among the troops. 

Fall of Riga. — The month of Sep- 
tember saw the capture by the Ger- 



130 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



mans of the important city of Riga. 
Its fall was chiefly due to the superior- 
ity of German artillery and the defec- 
tion of the Russian troops. On August 
22, the Germans began to advance from 
Kemmern, between the Baltic and the 
Aa, and bombarded the Russian posi- 
tions north of Dvinsk on the right bank 
of the Dvina River. On Sept. 2, they 
crossed the river at Uxkul, 16 miles 
southeast of Riga. The same day out- 
posts entered the city and General 
Letchitzky withdrew to a prepared line 
east of the city. The Germans con- 
tinued their attacks and took Jacob- 
stadt, and penetrated 6 miles on a 26- 
mile front. The Russians attacked 
heavily but unsuccessfully. The Ger- 
mans, in November and December, 1917, 
withdrew from most of the area cap- 
tured after the fall of Riga and sent 
the troops to aid the Austrians in a 
grand offensive against Italy (see be- 
low). 

From the military point of view the 
capture of Riga was of no importance 
without the occupation of islands which 
controlled the mouth of the Gulf of 
Riga. In October the Germans set out 
to accomplish this purpose. On Octo- 
ber 13, forces were landed under the 
protection of warships on a northern 
inlet of Oesel Island. By October 15, 
the chief city of the island, Orensburg, 
was in their hands. The Russian bat- 
tleship, Slava, 13,516 tons, and several 
smaller units, were lost in the defence 
of the Gulf. A landing was also made 
on Dago Island, and the Russian gar- 
risons of both islands were compelled 
to flee to the mainland to the eastward. 
The Russian Baltic fleet was locked up 
by the superior German fleet (50 war- 
ships) in Moon Sound. The Germans 
completely occupied the three islands, 
— Oesel, Dago, and Moon, — and on Oc- 
tober 21 effected a landing on the 



mainland at Werder, but later with- 
drew. In the meantime the Russian 
fleet escaped after inflicting unknown 
losses on the German fleet. Events on 
the Italian front prevented a combined 
land and sea attack on Reval and the 
coast of Finland. 

The Bolsheviki. — The Bolsheviki 
seized the reins of government on No- 
vember 7, and dismissed the Prelimi- 
nary Parliament. The guiding spirit 
was the Revolutionary Military Com- 
mittee of the Council of Workmen's and 
Soldiers' Delegates. Trotzky* and 
Lenine, the two Maximalist leaders, 
spoke before the Council, and the lat- 
ter stated the problems before Russia. 
They were, first, immediate conclusion 
of the war ; second, the handing over 
of the land to the peasants ; and third, 
the settlement of the economic crisis. 
On November 9, a new cabinet was 
formed by the Council, in which Nikolai 
Lenine was Premier and Leon Trotzky 
Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Keren- 
sky escaped from Petrograd but the 
rest of his cabinet was arrested. The 
former premier and a few thousand 
troops marched on Petrograd, but were 
defeated by the Bolsheviki. The Pro- 
visional Government was overthrown in 
Moscow and everywhere else the Bolshe- 
viki were victorious. 

Chaos and civil war now reigned su- 
preme in Russia. Ukraine again pro- 
claimed its independence, as did Fin- 

* Trotzky, Leok, with Nikolai Lenine, lead- 
ers of Russian Bolsheviki. Real name Leber 
Bronstein. About 40 years old. On account 
of revolutionary ideas often sent to jail. Sent 
to Siberia from 1905 to 1912. After release 
went to Berlin and established a paper. Or- 
dered to leave country after war broke out. 
Lived short time in Switzerland, then went to 
Paris. Started paper advocating peace. Rus- 
sian Ambassador had paper suppressed and he 
then went to Spain where he was arrested. 
After release came to New York City and be- 
came editor of Novi Mir (New World), a revo- 
lutionary paper. Prominent in radical circles. 
Returned to Russia after overthrow of Czar. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



131 



land. General Kaledines, leader of the 
Cossacks, with the aid of General Kor- 
niloff, declared war against the Bol- 
sheviki, with the avowed purpose of 
saving the country. Americans and 
other foreigners took the first oppor- 
tunity to get out of the country. The 
Bolsheviki passed a resolution asking 
for an immediate peace, stating that all 
belligerent governments should enter 
into negotiations for democratic and 
equitable peace. General Dukhonin, 
who commanded the armies, was or- 
dered to offer an armistice. He re- 
fused, and as a result was dismissed. 
Pie was succeeded by Ensign N. Kry- 
lenko, who was given the title Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the People's Com- 
missaries of War. Trotzky, in a state- 
ment issued on November 22, said that 
the Bolsheviki stood for a universal and 
not for a separate peace. The de- 
mobilization of the older classes of the 
Russian army was begun. Secret 
treaties signed by former Russian min- 
isters and foreign countries concern- 
ing the war aims of the Allies were pub- 
lished and created a profound impres- 
sion. 

Representatives sent within the Ger- 
man lines were cordially received, and 
arrangements were made to conduct ne- 
gotiations for an armistice. Von Hert- 
ling, the German Chancellor, told the 
Reichstag (Nov. 29) that negotiations 
would be opened with accredited repre- 
sentatives of the Russian government 
and that he was ready to discuss de- 
batable questions immediately. On De- 
cember 3, the German government an- 
nounced that an armistice prevailed 
from Pripet to south of the Lipa River, 
and that arrangements were being made 
to extend them over the entire front. 
Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Ru- 
mania were represented at the negotia- 
tions. On December 8, Trotzky an- 



nounced that they had been suspended 
for a week to permit all the belligerents 
to be informed that they were going 
on. On December 14, the armistice was 
finally signed at Brest-Litovsk. It was 
to be in effect 28 days and could be au- 
tomatically extended. Another provi- 
sion provided that peace negotiations 
were to be entered upon immediately, 
and consequently by January, 1918, 
they were in full swing. 

While these negotiations were going 
on, Russian internal affairs were in 
chaos, and it seemed as though Ger- 
many was very anxious to make a peace 
before the Bolsheviki lost power. None 
of the allied countries had recognized 
the Lenine government, and even the 
neutrals refused to do so. Continual 
uprisings occurred. The Cossacks and 
Ukrainians united against the Bol- 
sheviki, Siberia proclaimed its inde- 
pendence, and even Kerensky raised an- 
other force to restore him to power. 

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. — The 
German and Austro-Hungarian de- 
mands were such that the Russian rep- 
resentatives refused to concede them. 
Then the Bolsheviki made an announce- 
ment on Feb. 10th, which was an en- 
tirely new idea in peace making. It 
said that Russia had withdrawn from 
the war without signing a peace and 
immediately ordered the troops on all 
fronts to demobilize. Germany stated 
that if no peace were signed then a 
state of war still existed and as soon as 
the armistice ended (Feb. 17) a new 
invasion of Russia would begin. 

Tins is exactly what occurred. On 
the 18, the Germans crossed the Dwina 
and entered Dvinsk, and the whole 
German line from the Baltic to Volhy- 
nia moved forward. The advance in 
the south was undertaken, so the Ger- 
mans announced, at the request of the 
Ukrainians who wanted protection 



132 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



against the Bolsheviki. This advance 
caused the Russian government on the 
very next day to declare that they ac- 
cepted the terms of peace that they had 
formerly refused. The Germans, never- 
theless, continued to advance without 
opposition, and on February 23, the 
Turks started an offensive in the Cau- 
casus. Trotzky, the Bolshevik Minis- 
ter of War, in view of these movements, 
called upon the workmen and peasants 
to resist. Lenine, on the other hand, 
was opposed to further war, and in- 
duced the Central Executive Committee 
of the Soviets to accept the Germans' 
terms. The German advance ended on 
March 3, the day that the treaty was 
signed. The German High Command 
announced that they had captured 64,- 
000 prisoners, 2400 guns, 800 locomo- 
tives, and enormous stores of supplies 
and munitions, and had occupied the 
cities of Reval, Dorpat, Narva, Pskov, 
Kiev, Polotzk, and Borissoff. 

A brief summary of the treaty of 
Brest-Litovsk, which terminated hostili- 
ties between Russia and the Central 
Powers, follows: 

1. The state of war is terminated. 

2. The contracting powers will re- 
frain from all agitation against the 
other signatory powers. 

3. Russia to give up all claim to 
Finland, Esthonia, Livonia, Courland, 
Lithuania, Russian Poland, and the 
Ukraine. Russia also promised not to 
interfere in any way with the internal 
affairs of any of these districts. Their 
future is to be decided upon by Ger- 
many and Austria in agreement with 
their respective populations. 

4. As soon as a general peace is con- 
cluded the Central Powers agree to 
evacuate all other Russian territory 
held by them. Russia must evacuate all 
Anatolian provinces and return them to 
Turkey. Russian Armenia was also to 



be evacuated and allowed self-determi- 
nation in their reorganization in agree- 
ment with Turkey. 

5. Russia demobilize her army as 
soon as possible. The Russian fleet and 
any Allied vessels in Russian control 
must be taken into a Russian harbor 
and kept there until a general peace is 
signed or else immediately disarm. 
Russian mines in the Baltic and Black 
Seas were to be swept up as soon as 
possible and commerce in these waters 
to be resumed. 

6. Russia to conclude an immediate 
peace with the Ukrainian People's Re- 
public and to recognize the peace treaty 
signed by this republic and the Central 
Powers. Russian troops must immedi- 
ately evacuate the Ukraine and other 
territory given up by Russia. All Rus- 
sian fortifications on the Aland Islands 
were to be removed and the islands to 
be governed under an international 
agreement concluded by all the powers 
bordering on the Baltic Sea. 

7. The independence of Persia and 
Afghanistan was to be recognized by 
the contracting parties. 

8. Prisoners of war were to be sent 
home. 

9. War indemnities to be renounced. 

10. Diplomatic and consular rela- 
tions were to be resumed. 

11. Certain economic agreements en- 
tered which practically gave Germany 
control of Russia's trade for an indefi- 
nite period of time. 

This treaty ceded to the Central 
Powers approximately 460,000 square 
miles of the choicest territory of Rus- 
sia, with a population of almost 60,- 
000,000. 

Russia and Ukraine. — The Ukraini- 
ans who are also known as Malorus- 
sians, Little Russians, and Ruthenians, 
belong to the western Slavic group of 
nations. Their chief seat is in the Rus- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



133 



sian provinces of Podolia, Volhynia, 
Kiev, Poltava, Chernygov, Ekaterino- 
slav, and Kharkov, and parts of the ad- 
joining provinces. The Ukrainian eth- 
nographic area also includes the adja- 
cent Austro-Hungarian territory, viz., 
East Galicia, the northwest of Buko- 
wina, and a portion of Hungary along 
the slope of the Carpathian Mountains, 
from Marmaros to Zips. Their num- 
ber is estimated as thirty million in 
Russia, upwards of three million in Aus- 
tria-Hungary, and about one million in 
other countries. The Ukrainians in 
Russia are of Greek Orthodox faith, 
and those in Galicia are mostly Uni- 
ates. Notwithstanding local varia- 
tions, the Ukrainians are easily distin- 
guished from the Great Russians (or 
Russians proper) by their taller stat- 
ure, broader and shorter heads, and 
darker complexion. They grow no 
beards, as do the Russians. Livelier, 
gayer, and gentler than the latter, the 
Ukrainians are noted for their poetical 
and musical gifts. The Ukrainian peas- 
ant is said to be more self-reliant than 
the Russian. Upon the overthrow of 
Czar Nicholas II (1917) general up- 
heaval followed. In April, 1917, a 
Congress (Rada) made up of represen- 
tatives of all classes and interests de- 
manded autonomy for the Ukraine and 
proposed that a democratic republic be 
established. Ukrainian regiments were 
created which declared themselves in 
favor of the new government and plans 
went ahead for organizing the Ukraini- 
an republic. A separate cabinet with dis- 
tinct ministries of war and external af- 
fairs was included. The Russian provi- 
sional government (Lvov Cabinet) sent 
two Ukrainian members to investigate. 
On July 15, 1917, they returned with 
what was practically an ultimatum: 
Russia to recognize complete autonomy 
for Ukraine or total separation would 



ensue. The provisional government 
feared that complete autonomy would 
seriously injure the campaign against 
the Central Powers, accepted the prin- 
ciple of autonomy and favored attach- 
ing Ukrainian delegates to the Russian 
war ministry and military staffs. The 
Ukrainians feared that in this way they 
would lose control of their troops. The 
territorial demands of the Ukrainians 
also seemed excessive to the provisional 
government. It was proposed that the 
purely Ukrainian provinces (Kiev, Vol- 
hynia, Poltava, Podolia, and part of 
Chernygov) come under immediate su- 
pervision of Ukrainian secretariat gen- 
eral, the disputed provinces to decide 
for themselves. 

The Ukrainian government had to 
contend with military and economic 
difficulties and also to reckon with the 
Russian government on which it de- 
pended for financial support. On the 
east it was hard pressed by the Cossack 
armies of General Kaledin. Bolshevism 
did not find favor in the Ukraine. The 
Bolsheviki refused to advance money to 
the Ukraine and the latter retaliated 
by forbidding the sending of foodstuffs 
to Northern Russia. Massing of troops 
followed and clashes took place in De- 
cember, 1917. Bolsheviki urged the 
cessation of hostilities, Ukrainians de- 
manded full recognition of their re- 
public, participation in all peace 
negotiations, military control of the 
Ukrainian, southwestern, and Ruma- 
nian fronts, and guarantees of payment 
for foodstuffs. 

On January 10, 1918, delegates from 
Ukraine to the Brest-Litovsk peace con- 
ference were recognized by both the 
Russian and the German representa- 
tives. On January 21, it was an- 
nounced that an agreement had been 
reached between the representatives of 
the Central Powers and those of the 



134 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Ukrainian People's Republic, of which 
the main terms were that the state of 
war should be ended at once, the troops 
of both parties withdrawn, and arrange- 
ments made in the treaty for the im- 
mediate resumption of trade relations, 
which should be followed as soon as pos- 
sible by the resumption of diplomatic 
and council relations. The treaty was 
signed by the Ukraine government Feb- 
ruary 9 and its text was made public 
by the Bolshevik government soon 
afterwards. It provided that the new 
republic of Ukraine should have, as its 
southwestern frontier, the frontier of 
Galicia and should include a consider- 
able area then occupied by the enemy 
in the governments of Volhynia, Lubin, 
Siedlics, Grodno, and Minsk. Both 
parties agreed to abandon any claims 
for damages. The signing of the treaty 
by Germany was greeted with satisfac- 
tion by the German press. It was an- 
nounced on February 17 that the 
Ukraine government had published a 
statement expressing gratitude and sat- 
isfaction at the intervention of Ger- 
many. The Ukrainians had signed the 
peace with Germany, it declared, in 
order to put an end to the war. Peace 
had not resulted from it because the 
Russian Bolsheviks were making what 
they called a holy war upon the Social- 
ists of the Ukraine. The Red Guards 
were invading the country from the 
north, murdering the people, and ter- 
rorizing the community. It said the 
reports as to the uprising of the people 
of the Ukraine were false, as were also 
the reports that the government of 
Ukraine, which really consisted of So- 
cialists, was in any sense a middle-class 
government. It looked to the German 
people to protect them and aid them in 
saving the fruits of their young revolu- 
tion. The Bolshevik forces were re- 
ported to have taken Kiev and German 



military intervention thus found its 
excuse. The Germans required the 
greater part of the Ukraine stock of 
grain and other foodstuffs and it was 
not supplied in the quantities demanded. 
In revenge, according to press reports, 
they killed many of the peasants with 
machine guns, destroyed their villages, 
and laid hands upon the government, 
setting up a dictator who was favorable 
to their interests. Odessa changed 
hands again, being captured by the 
Black Sea fleet. On July 31, Field 
Marshal Eichhorn, German military 
dictator of Ukraine, was assassinated 
by an agent of the Left Social Revo- 
lutionary Party in Moscow. The 
assassin was arrested and a few days 
later hanged. Toward the end of 
August a Ukrainian National Council 
was formed at Paris and addressed a 
manifesto to the Allies asking for sup- 
port in the struggle of the people of 
the Ukraine against German violence. 
It stated that the people had risen 
against the Germans and that the in- 
terests of the Ukraine and the Allies 
were identical. 

In the Ukraine Germany robbed the 
peasants of their foodstuffs and brought 
about a coup d'etat in the Rada. In 
Great Russia the German troops, re- 
gardless of the treaty, passed the fron- 
tier and advanced toward Lursk and 
then invaded the Crimea with the ap- 
parent purpose of seizing the Black 
Sea fleet. There were many reports in 
the Allied press of brutalities committed 
by Germans in Russia. Huge sums 
were said to have been demanded in gold 
from peasants along with all the wheat 
to be found in the locality. At a cer- 
tain village not only was this reported 
but it was said that when the peasants 
brought only a part of what was de- 
manded the German troops surrounded 
the village, shot down the peasants with 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



135 



machine guns, killed them by hundreds, 
and dragged their old men out, tied 
them to their stirrups, and dragged 
them for many miles across country. A 
Vienna paper, the Arbeit er Zeitung, 
May 3, 1918, remarked that the people 
of the Ukraine could not regard the 
army of occupation as liberators but 
rather would regard them as agents of 
brute force sent into their country to 
enforce military rule and take posses- 
sion of the cereals for the Central 
Powers, and that Germany and Austria 
would not make themselves beloved by 
the Ukraine any more than they had 
endeared themselves to the Letts, Estho- 
nians, Poles, and Lithuanians. 

Russia and Finland. — A grand duchy 
on the gulfs of Finland and Bothnia, 
which was conquered by Russia from 
Sweden, and finally annexed in 1808. 
Consequent upon Russia's revolution 
and subsequent disruptions, the Finnish 
papers stated that on Friday, Novem- 
ber 9, 1917, the Finnish Diet decided, 
by 106 votes to 90, to inaugurate a re- 
gime of complete independence by de- 
claring that as the Provisional Russian 
government no longer existed the Diet 
entrusted the government of Finland to 
a directory of three persons — namely, 
the magistrate Svinhufvud, privy coun- 
cillor Gripenberg, and the banker 
Passikive. The post of governor-gen- 
eral was declared abolished. At the 
close of 1917 it was officially reported 
from Berlin that after the Russian gov- 
ernment announced its willingness to 
recognize the independence of Finland, 
the German Emperor charged the im- 
perial chancellor to express in the name 
of the German government recognition 
of the Finnish republic to plenipoten- 
tiaries of Finland then in Berlin. 
Chancellor von Hertling received the 
plenipotentiaries and informed them 
Germany had recognized Finland. 



Finland's independence was recog- 
nized by Russia, Sweden, Norway, 
France, Spain, Denmark and Germany 
in the order named, on the understand- 
ing that an arrangement be reached 
between Finland and Russia in regard 
to formal separation. On January 9, 
1918, the Russian central executive 
committee of the Soviets, acting in be- 
half of the Russian provisional gov- 
ernment, unanimously recognized the 
republic as free and independent. 
Meanwhile the red guards (Bolsheviki) 
and the white guards (pro-German) 
were arrayed against each other, and 
civil war had broken out. 

Civil war conditions continued till the 
signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty be- 
tween Germany and Bolshevik govern- 
ment. Generally speaking the fighting 
favored the white guards led by Gen. 
Mannerheim. On March 7, 1918, Ger- 
many signed a treaty with Finland, hav- 
ing meanwhile invaded Finnish territory 
and occupied the Aland Islands. This 
treaty declared that a state of war be- 
tween Germany and Finland no longer 
existed. Germany promised to do 
everything in her power to have the in- 
dependence of Finland recognized by 
the world. Finland promised that she 
would never give up any of the territory 
over which she was sovereign without 
first consulting Germany. Consular 
and diplomatic services were to be es- 
tablished, prisoners of war exchanged, 
and civil relations put into force. A 
commercial agreement was entered into, 
which made Finland a practical vassal 
of Germany. 

Later events showed that Germany 
was evidently trying to carry out in 
Finland the same policy as she had 
shown at the time of the Brest-Litovsk 
treaty. She wished to constitute two 
minor states — the Ukraine and Finland 
— in order that a new and unified Rus- 



136 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



sia might not rise up from the ruins 
which the Bolsheviks had caused. The 
German side appealed to the propertied 
classes and also to the spirit of national 
pride, by encouraging hopes of expan- 
sion. This policy was opposed by the 
radicals who were angered by the 
tyranny of the white guard and also 
by certain Swedish elements who were 
by no means radical but whose claims 
were rejected by the ruling party. The 
collapse of Germany prevented the con- 
summation of the plan which provided 
for an alliance between the Finns and 
Germans, the object of which was a 
military advance to drive the Allies 
from northern Russia. 

Arguments and Programme of the 
Bolsheviki. — In the leading newspapers 
of the countries of the Entente the 
feeling against the Bolsheviks is so 
strong that for the most part their 
arguments in their own behalf and ac- 
counts of their programme and organi- 
zation were excluded, with the result 
that there was little understanding 
among the public at large of the points 
at issue between them and their oppo- 
nents and the discussion of Russian 
affairs was often unintelligible. The 
following brief summary of the Bol- 
sheviks' position, which is derived from 
sources sympathetic to their point of 
view, may therefore be of service : 

The Bolsheviks argued that the mid- 
dle class had nothing whatever to do 
with the revolution of March, 1917, 
which was a genuinely popular rising. 
The prominent representative of the 
middle class, Miliukov, for example, had 
urged the working class not to come 
into the streets and at the first stage 
of the revolution had predicted its im- 
mediate failure. The middle class was 
opposed to the government because it 
did not carry on the war efficiently. 
The revolutionists opposed the govern- 



ment because it did not get the country 
out of war. Russia's Allies, thinking 
that the final object of the revolution 
was the overthrow of the dynasty, per- 
sisted for a long time in the belief that 
as far as the war was concerned things 
would go on as before. The middle class 
party in Russia encouraged them in 
their illusion. The Duma, which rep- 
resented the middle class, did not take 
part in the revolution until it was sure 
that it was successful ; then it fell into 
line and attempted to direct the move- 
ment. The new Provisional government 
was chosen by an executive committee 
of the Duma and was a middle class 
body in no wise representative of the 
masses, whereas strictly out of the revo- 
lution itself there arose a so-called 
Soviet of Workman's Deputies, which 
was later organized under the title of 
Soviet of Workmen's and Soldiers' 
Deputies. The latter became the real 
source of power, watching over the Pro- 
visional government and calling it to 
account. As time went on the breach 
between these two bodies widened. The 
Soviets more and more definitely ex- 
pressed the will of the people that steps 
be immediately taken toward peace, 
whereas the Provisional government 
worked steadily to keep Russia in the 
war and to gain control of the army. 
This latter purpose the Soviets were 
determined to block, believing that if 
accomplished it would simply result in 
intrenching the middle class govern- 
ment, which would thus have usurped 
in the interests of a class the revolu- 
tion which was the work of the majority 
of the people. The army, which com- 
prised practically all of the young 
peasantry of the country, took part in 
political affairs from the first and had 
its share in directing the revolution. 
All attempts, such as those of Kerensky, 
Korniloff, and Kaledin, to gain control 



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by means of a portion of the army 
failed. The Soviet brought increased 
pressure upon the government for 
peace, but the government staved it off 
and gave Russia's Allies to understand 
that Russia would still fight. But when 
Miliukov issued his statement to the 
Allies implying that the Russian mili- 
tary policy had not changed, there was 
a threatening demonstration by soldiers 
and citizens in the streets and it had 
to be withdrawn. 

In the meantime there was increasing 
hostility in the Soviet between the 
Moderates and the Bolsheviks, the 
former trying to maintain a union with 
the middle class government and the 
latter opposed to it as causing delay 
and leading to ultimate disaster. It 
is noteworthy that the Bolsheviks, like 
the governments of the Allied countries, 
opposed the Stockholm conference and 
they did so for the avowed reason that 
the representatives of the German ma- 
jority Socialists at such a conference 
would really be the agents of the Ger- 
man government. In other contests 
that ensued between Moderates and 
Bolsiheviks the latter were successful 
and gained strength. The aims of their 
leaders, Lenine and Trotzky, were not 
only for peace but for a world revolu- 
tion in which the working class of all 
belligerent countries would insist that 
their governments should end the war. 
As time went on the government and 
the Moderate Party in the Soviets be- 
came weaker and the struggle became 
more clearly one of class. The Bol- 
sheviks, representing the working class, 
were soon able to show that a majority 
of the people was behind them and when 
they took over the government in Octo- 
ber, 1917, the transition was easily ac- 
complished for the actual power had 
already for a long time been in their 
hands. Thus, it is the Bolsheviks' con- 



tention that they represented the real 
purposes of the revolution from the be- 
ginning and that they moved along in 
absolute accord with the will of the peo- 
ple. They believed that the strictly 
representative form of government that 
had developed answered exactly to the 
wishes of the people. This government 
of Soviets was the natural outcome of 
the democratic revolutionary movement. 
It was exceedingly flexible and rested on 
the widest popular basis. Every Rus- 
sian workman and peasant had the 
right to vote for a deputy in his local 
Soviet, which was made up of represen- 
tatives varying in number according to 
the size of the electorate ; every local 
Soviet had the right to choose delegates 
to the All-Russian Assembly of Soviets, 
which in turn chose the Central Execu- 
tive Committee. This Central Executive 
Committee, the number of whose dele- 
gates was about one-fifth of that of the 
assembly, appointed the actual govern- 
ment, the so-called People's Commissa- 
ries, who remained under the control of 
and were subject to dismissal by the 
committee. The Central Executive 
Committee was the legislative body and 
all acts of importance were passed by it 
before they were issued as laws by the 
Council of People's Commissaries. The 
term of the Executive Committee lasts 
only to the next meeting of the All- 
Russian Assembly, which passes upon 
its acts and the acts of the People's 
Commissaries and elects a new executive 
committee. Thus the actual govern- 
ment could be made to correspond al- 
most at once to changes in public 
opinion. Moreover, there were no limits 
to the withdrawal and reelection of dele- 
gates to the Soviets. In the working 
out of this system, the relation between 
the government and the people of the 
locality was very close. The local 
Soviets could follow minutely every act 



138 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



of the People's Commissaries and the 
communication between the central au- 
thorities and the local was complete. 
From the Bolshevik point of view there 
was no sense whatever in the criticism 
directed against them by the democrats 
of other countries for having excluded 
the middle class from power. They 
contended that the purpose of the revo- 
lution was not merely to exclude the 
middle class from power but to put an 
end to it. The revolution from the 
beginning aimed at the destruction of 
the middle and exploiting class, and 
from the Bolshevik point of view the 
existence of that class could not be ad- 
mitted. Ultimately the middle class 
would cease to be parasites and would 
be absorbed among the workers on an 
equal footing. The critics of the Bol- 
sheviks seemed not to realize that it was 
of the very essence of Bolshevism to 
seek the destruction of the whole system 
of privilege and exploitation. The Bol- 
sheviks explained the misunderstanding 
in the foreign press by the fact that the 
foreign observer almost always belonged 
to the privileged class himself and de- 
rived his information from the cor- 
responding class in Russia. 

Another criticism which the Bol- 
sheviks considered unfair was that 
which condemned them for dissolving 
the Constituent Assembly. They main- 
tained that the Constituent Assembly, 
as it finally turned out, was not repre- 
sentative at all of actual public opinion. 
The Bolsheviks had at first insisted 
upon the Constituent Assembly. It was 
the Moderates who really caused its 
failure. They repeatedly put it off and 
when after eight months it had come 
into existence it was too antiquated and 
useless an instrument. It was de- 
stroyed by the very element that had 
demanded it. The middle class had 
manoeuvered to delay its gathering until 



they were sure that its character would 
be satisfactory to them. When they 
saw that the Soviet government really 
conformed to the will of the masses they 
looked to the Constituent Assembly as 
a desperate and last resort. It seemed 
to them less likely to injure their class 
than was the Soviet government. Al- 
though in the Constituent Assembly 
there was a majority against the Bol- 
sheviks this did not, according to their 
defenders, represent the real wishes of 
the masses, for the canvass for it had 
taken place before the October revolu- 
tion. Moreover, the great mass of the 
people had not been made to perceive 
the real issue and all active-thinking 
representatives of the masses were op- 
posed to the assembly because as a 
matter of fact its majority consisted 
of the very element which had been over- 
thrown in the October revolution. The 
Bolsheviks took their chances of public 
support and pushed the assembly aside. 
That they really had the country behind ' 
them was proven by the fact that among 
the people at large there was no protest. 
As to peace the Bolsheviks had all 
along sought it as a result of the social 
revolution that they had aimed at 
bringing about in all countries, and 
they would have been glad to see the 
governments reject peace if that would 
have provoked the workers to rise and 
overthrow them. They aimed at a gen- 
eral peace, and least of all they were 
interested in a German victory. When 
Germany sent her first answer as to 
the condition of peace, saying that she 
would accept the Russian formula as a 
basis for negotiation, Russia's allies 
ought, in the opinion of the Bolsheviks, 
to have taken their side, for Germany 
would have been compelled to remain 
true to her agreement. The Allies did 
not support Russia and Germany, hav- 
ing only her weak opponent to deal 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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with, forced the harsh terms of the final 
treaty. 

Trotzky now tried to bring about a 
revolution of the working classes in Ger- 
many or in any event to prove to the 
German people that their government in 
its peace negotiations showed not the 
slightest respect for their wishes. 
There were, in fact, vast strikes in 
Austria-Hungary and Germany, and 
according to the Bolsheviks this plan 
might have succeeded had it not been 
for the treachery of the conservative 
element in the Ukraine, who entered 
into separate negotiations with Ger- 
many. In the Ukraine the soldiers and 
workmen had gained the upper hand, 
and the self-styled government had to 
take refuge at German military head- 
quarters. They were there, under Ger- 
man protection, when peace was con- 
cluded between Germany and the 
Ukraine. Although the majority in the 
Ukraine were represented by the Soviet 
and although the Soviet had declared 
itself one with the rest of Russia, Ger- 
many preferred to recognize the minor- 
ity element, and in this respect the 
policy of Russia's allies was precisely 
the same as that of the Germans. Then 
came the refusal of the Russian dele- 
gates to sign the German peace terms. 
They hoped that the German people 
would prevent their government from 
advancing against the defenseless masses 
of Russia. The German government 
did advance, however, and the Soviet 
had to choose between collapse and the 
signature of a disgraceful peace. Some 
/believed in holding out no matter what 
happened. Lenine thought the Soviet 
government ought to be preserved as a 
nucleus of revolution in Russia, and ul- 
timately of the great world revolution 
that he had in mind. This view pre- 
vailed, being accepted by first the execu- 
tive committee and then by the All- 



Russian Assembly. The Germans con- 
tinued to advance till they had reached 
the Don in the south and nearly reached 
Petrograd in the north. 

The Bolsheviks declared that the 
Soviet government is the real govern- 
ment of the Russian majority. Their 
opponents, they said, had so little faith 
in their hold on the masses, that all 
along they looked upon a foreign in- 
tervention as the only thing that could 
save them. Their request for foreign 
aid against the Soviet government 
showed that they were striving for 
something that the Russians themselves 
did not want. The Soviet government 
following the October revolution had 
stood firm for six months. The Allies 
helped the anti-Soviet minority in the 
Ukraine, thus aiding the German ag- 
gression, and they gave moral aid at 
least to the White Finns, who were op- 
posed by the Red Finns, supported by 
the Soviet. The Bolsheviks resented 
this and believed that if the Allies con- 
tinued this policy and should eventually 
succeed in imposing on Russia the gov- 
ernment of a minority, it could be kept 
in power only by foreign aid, and that 
of geographical necessity such aid would 
come from Germany. They urged the 
Allies not to repeat their mistakes. 
They argued that any non-Soviet gov- 
ernment would be directly to the ad- 
vantage of Germany. They reminded 
the United States of the presence in 
the colonies at the time of their own 
revolution of men who tried to secure 
foreign aid against the movement for 
American independence, and they asked 
how those men were regarded to-day. 
The only way to thwart the design of 
Germany to gain control of Russia's 
resources was to support the Soviet 
government, which would welcome such 
cooperation from the Allies and might 
even grant them control over a portion 



140 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



of Russia's resources in order to save 
themselves from the German menace. 

Rival Parties. — During 1918 and 
1919 there were many conflicting ac- 
counts of the situation. According to 
some of these the government of Lenine 
was tottering to its end ; according to 
others the revolution was fast spread- 
ing; and according to still others, the 
severest measures were being taken 
against the counter revolutionaries. 
The rival parties and movements in 
Russia at this time may be summed up 
as follows : In the south were the Czecho- 
slovaks whose effectives were placed 
at from 60,000 to 80,000 men, and 
who, in August, were holding the great 
strip of territory along the railway 
from Penza (to the west of the River 
Volga) to Irkutsk, except for a few 
breaks in line. The Cossacks of the 
Caucasus and the leagues of officers 
were still under arms, having been 
formed into a military force by Gen- 
erals Kaledin, Korniloff, and Alexieff, 
of whom Kaledin was reported later 
to have committed suicide and Korni- 
loff to have died. Besides these Cos- 
sacks, there were the Cossacks of Oren- 
burg, who were under the command of 
Gen. Dutoff ; the Cossacks of the Don, 
under Gen. Krasnoff ; and the leagues 
of officers formed by Gen. Alexieff and 
other generals. It appeared in August 
that all these elements of Cossacks and 
officers were concentrated in the Samara 
regions under Generals Alexieff and 
Dutoff, and M. Rodzianko, the presi- 
dent of the last Duma. Then there 
were the following Siberian govern- 
ments: The Siberian Diet, which had 
been dispersed and taken refuge in one 
city after another and was finally re- 
ported to have assembled at Omsk in 
June, where it soon afterwards pro- 
claimed the independence of Siberia, an- 
nulled the acts of the Bolsheviks, and 



accepted the land situation provision- 
ally until the meeting of the Constituent 
Assembly ; the government of the Grand 
Duke Michael who had been named by 
the late Czar as a successor and who, 
having escaped on June 15, issued a 
manifesto on June 26, asserting his 
claim to the throne, though adding that 
he would wait until the Constituent As- 
sembly should bestow the power on him ; 
the government of Gen. Horvath at 
Kharbin, which was working for the 
restoration of the monarchy ; and finally 
the forces of Gen. Semenoff, who at that 
time were reported to have won suc- 
cesses on the Manchurian frontier. 

The End of the Constituent Assem- 
bly. — In January, 1918, the executive 
committee of Soviets issued a decree 
empowering the workmen, soldiers, and 
peasants of the Soviets to arrange for 
an early election or to recall the mem- 
bers of the Constituent Assembly if 
they no longer represented the views 
of their constituents. At the new con- 
gress of the peasants it was decided to 
recall all the members who acted in op- 
position to the government. On Janu- 
ary 18, the Constituent Assembly lis- 
tened to the reading of the Committee 
of Soviets' declaration of the rights of 
the working classes and proclamation 
of Russia as a republic of Soviets. 
The Bolsheviki applauded with great 
enthusiasm. A declaration was then 
read by M. Tseretelli, former minister 
in the Kerensky government, setting 
forth the position of the moderate So- 
cialists. He was cheered by his own 
party, but the cheers were drowned 
out by the hooting of the Bolsheviki, 
among whom was the commander-in- 
chief, Krilenko. A speech by M. Tcher- 
noff, former minister of agriculture, ap- 
pealing for order, had no effect. The 
Revolutionary Socialists proposed the 
discussion of the most important ques- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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tions, namely, the making of peace, and 
the questions of land, industry, and of 
the new form of government ; but the 
radical party concentrated its attention 
on the alleged encroachment, by the 
Constituent Assembly, on the authority 
of the Soviets. Reconciliation was im- 
possible and finally the Bolsheviki and 
the Revolutionary Left walked out of 
the building in a body, as a protest 
against a decision of the majority to 
proceed to the discussion of the above- 
mentioned questions and to postpone 
the consideration of the Soviets' so- 
called declaration of rights. The vote 
on these questions was 273 against 140, 
thus showing the balance between the 
moderate Revolutionary Socialists or 
Right on the one hand, and the Bol- 
sheviki, together with the Left Revolu- 
tionary Socialists on the other. On the 
morning of January 19, sailors armed 
with rifles dissolved the assembly, which 
had been in session only a few weeks. 
This left the Bolsheviki in complete con- 
trol. The decree of dissolution de- 
nounced the Moderate and Revolution- 
ary Socialists for their opposition to 
the granting of sufficient power to the 
commissaries for carrying out the eco- 
nomic programme, and rejected any 
compromise with the bourgeois classes, 
or with what it called democratic par- 
liamentarism. 

Allied Intervention in Russia and 
Siberia. — The reports concerning the 
activities of the Czecho-Slovak troops 
and the Allied forces, which were landed 
at Murmansk, Archangel, and Vladi- 
vostok, were very meagre and conflict- 
ing throughout the war. Reports given 
out by the Soviet government of Rus- 
sia and the various governments of 
Siberia differed widely from and often 
contradicted those given out by allied 
governments. Therefore the material 
contained in this section cannot be 



strictly vouched for. The method of 
obtaining it was to gather, as far as 
possible, material from European and 
American sources and then to compare 
it and keep that matter which seemed 
to be founded on fact. The material 
covering all phases is given in chrono- 
logical order because it is almost im- 
possible to group it under separate 
headings. 

After the Bolsheviki had made peace 
with the Central Powers, their attempts 
to pacify that part of Russia which re- 
mained in their hands were rather un- 
successful. A considerable army of 
Czecho-Slovaks was roaming around the 
central part of Russia, attempting to 
reach Vladivostok and then rejoin the 
allies in order to down their hereditary 
enemies, the Germans and Austrians. 
These men had deserted from the forces 
of the Central Powers and had fought 
with the Russians against their ene- 
mies. When the Treaty of Brest- 
Litovsk was signed and Russia retired 
from the war, they received permission 
from the Bolsheviki to cross Siberia and 
rejoin the Allies. For some time their 
relations with the new rulers of Russia 
were very friendly. Then, presumably 
at the request of Germany, the Bol- 
sheviks ordered them to be disarmed, 
but the Czecho-Slovaks resisted, and 
conflicts occurred between them and the 
Soviet forces. The first battles began 
in the latter part of May and continued 
throughout 1918 and 1919. 

In Siberia, the Bolsheviki met with 
the greatest opposition in the estab- 
lishment of their government. Anti- 
Bolshevik forces headed by Gen. Seme- 
noff, Admiral Kolchak, Col. Orloff, Gen. 
Kalmakoff, and others joined forces or 
operated independently to defeat the 
Bolsheviki. In June, with the aid of 
Chinese mercenaries, they seized most 
of the railway lines in Siberia and in- 



142 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



formed the Soviet government that any 
attempt to occupy Siberia would be bit- 
terly opposed. During the same month 
the Czecho-Slovaks seized the railway 
station at Penza on the Volga, and 
started their battles for Vladivostok by 
penetrating into the region of the Ural 
Mountains. They held the Siberian 
Railroad from Theliabinsk to Tomsk, a 
distance of more than 1,000 miles, and 
had occupied Samara, as well as Irkutsk 
and Vladivostok. The latter city was 
taken by Czecho-Slovaks who had 
reached there before Trotzky had or- 
dered them to disarm. By the middle 
of July, 1918, the Czechs held most 
of the Siberian railroad. Their line 
was very thin 'and largely depended 
upon the cooperation of the independent 
Siberian forces. Detachments from the 
eastern end of the line, after occupying 
towns in the Amur River basin, started 
westward along the railroad with the 
purpose of relieving their brethren, who 
were rather sorely beset as a result of 
strong Bolshevik counter-offensive be- 
gun against them in July. The number 
of Czecho-Slovaks fighting against the 
Bolsheviki has never been definitely 
stated but estimates place the figures as 
anywhere from '50,000 to 175,000. 
Probably the former figure is more ac- 
curate than the latter. Although the 
Czechs stated time and again that they 
were absolutely neutral concerning the 
internal affairs of Russia, nevertheless, 
whatever sections of Siberia they came 
in contact with immediately arose in re- 
volt against the Soviet government. 
This, of course, may have been a result 
of distrust of this government. 

When it became known that the 
treaties of peace between Germany on 
the one hand and Finland, Russia, Ru- 
mania, and the Ukraine, on the other, 
were to be used by Germany as a means 
for making these countries subservient 



to Germany, the Allies determined upon 
a certain amount of military interven- 
tion in order to try to save something 
from the chaos that existed in Russia. 
The Allies first seized the region around 
the Murman coast, with the cities of 
Murmansk, Kola, and Kem (July, 
1918). The purpose of this was to 
prevent Germany from obtaining sub- 
marine bases on the Arctic Ocean and 
from seizing control of the Murman 
Railroad which might have resulted in 
the cutting off of Petrograd from the 
rest of Russia. There were also vast 
quantities of war materials there which 
had been ordered by the old Russian 
government and which had never been 
paid for. From April to July, 1918, 
the Germans and their Finnish allies 
were planning an attack on the railroad 
and even went so far as to build a rail- 
road across Russia from Finland to 
the neighborhood of Kem. Conse- 
quently, in July, 1918, allied forces, 
including Americans, were landed at 
Murmansk and were welcomed by the 
anti-Bolshevik inhabitants, who almost 
immediately seceded from Russia and 
established an independent government. 
The Allies advanced at once along the 
railroad and seized Kem. 

In July, 1918, it was also announced 
that the Allies after a long period of 
consultation had determined to send a 
combined force of men to Vladivostok 
to aid the Czechs as far as possible, and 
also to attempt to break up the armed 
bands of Austrian and German prison- 
ers who were the main part of the Bol- 
shevik forces. Ten thousand Amer- 
icans, 10,000 Japanese, and smaller 
numbers of British and French were 
placed under the command of Gen. 
Otani (Japanese), and dispatched to 
Vladivostok in August. Ma j .-Gen. 
William S. Graves was placed in com- 
mand of the American troops. This 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



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force immediately started to occupy the 
valley of the Ussuri River and met with 
little resistance. On August 4, 1918, 
it was announced that the Allied troops 
had taken possession of Archangel after 
ineffectual resistance by the Bolsheviki. 
The Allies (including Americans) now 
controlled the entire coast from Arch- 
angel to Murmansk. 

During September and October the 
Allies and Czecho-Slovaks made some 
progress against the Bolsheviki. The 
Japanese advanced along the Siberian 
Railroad and captured Blagoviests- 
chenk, the capital of Amur, and Alex- 
ievsk on September 18. Many towns 
along the Dvina River were occupied 
by the Allied and American troops. 
Kadish, in the Province of Archangel, 
was occupied on October 18. During 
the latter half of October and in early 
November the fighting seemed to favor 
the Bolshevik forces. The Czechs were 
driven from Samara and reported that 
without immediate assistance they would 
not be able to hold out much longer. 
The Allies were forced to abandon some 
of their newly won ground along the 
Dvina (Kadish), but succeeded in driv- 
ing the Bolsheviks across the Finnish 
border from Karelia. 

The signing of the armistice with 
Germany, contrary to the expectations 
of many people, did not bring to a close 
the hostilities in Russia. No official 
declaration of war had ever been made 
against the Bolsheviki and consequently 
a legal state of war did not exist, al- 
though fighting continued. On Decem- 
ber 24, Siberian troops with the aid 
of Czecho-Slovak troops were reported 
to have captured the city of Perm and 
to have practically wiped out an entire 
Bolshevik army, taking 31,000 prison- 
ers and much booty. The Allies ad- 
vanced up the Onega River, in the 
Archangel district, for a distance of fif- 



teen miles on December 30, and recap- 
tured Kadish and made their rather 
precarious position more secure. 

During 1918 and 1919 the whole 
situation in Russia and Siberia was still 
unsettled. Arguments were rife in 
Allied countries as to what should be 
done. Some contended that a large 
force should be sent into Russia and 
Bolshevism crushed, while others main- 
tained that the armies should be with- 
drawn and Russia permitted to work 
out her own salvation. The question 
was for the peace conference to decide. 
See below under the heading Peace 
Conference. 

IV. Southern Theatre. A. Campaigns 
against Serbia. — The campaigns against 
Serbia have two main stages : ( 1 ) Aus- 
trian campaign across the Drina (Aug- 
ust-December, 1914), which failed owing 
to demands in the Russian field; (2) 
Austro-German-Bulgar invasion of Ser- 
bia, to open the road to Constantino- 
ple. This campaign ended in the con- 
quest of Serbia and Montenegro (Oc- 
tober-December, 1915). 

The military strategy of this cam- 
paign develops on three fronts: (a) 
the Germans crossed the Danube and 
took the line of the Morava valley ; 
(6) the Austrians crossed the Drina 
and moved up the Lim; (c) the Bul- 
gars, sending one army to beat off Al- 
lied reinforcements from Greece, moved 
on Nish with another army. The Serb 
army was driven to the sea through Al- 
bania. It was ultimately reformed and 
reequipped and pla3 r ed a prominent 
part in the campaigns of 1918. 

B. Italian Campaign. — Italy's en- 
trance into the war in May, 1915, re- 
lieving Russia, has two main move- 
ments: (1) to the north, to close the 
passes of the Alps against invasion; 
(2) to the northeast, to cross the Ison- 
zo and take Trieste. 



144 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The Isonzo line was reached, but the 
operation was not completed. An Aus- 
trian invasion from the north (May, 
1916) was checked mainly by an op- 
portune Russian drive into Galicia. 
After a successful attack against Aus- 
tria the Italians were compelled to beat 
a precipitous retreat to the Piave in 
1917. From here they organized the 
blow that crushed Austria in 1918. 

The work before the Italians was 
therefore simple in respect of concep- 
tion, difficult in point of execution. The 
configuration of the frontier at once 
fixed the nature of the task. It was 
absolutely essential to close the passes 
of the Alps from Switzerland eastward, 
in order to protect the flank and rear 
of their armies on the Isonzo line, and 
to prevent invasion of Italy. This con- 
dition secured, the task of the remainder 
of the forces was to cross the Isonzo, 
for it must not be forgotten that Italy's 
material objective was Trieste with the 
Istrian Peninsula. 

Four armies took the field, two on 
each frontier, the northern and eastern. 
A fifth force, composed of Bersaglieri 
and Alpini, was designated for opera- 
tions in the Carnic Alps. Gen. Count 
Luigi Cadorna,* the chief of the gen- 
eral staff, was in general command. On 
May 24 the frontier of the Trentino 
was crossed. Two weeks later the Itali- 
ans were well advanced in the Trentino 
and Tyrol; the road to Verona was 
closed. It would seem that the Aus- 
trians during the opening days of the 

* Count Lttigi Cadorna, born (1850) at Pal- 
lanza, son of Gen. Raffaele Cadorna; gradu- 
ated from military academy at Turin (1868); 
colonel (1892); commander of Tenth Regiment 
of Bersaglieri; chief of staff of the Army of 
Florence; major general (1898); commander 
of the division at Naples (1907) and at Genoa 
(1910) ; designated commander of an army in 
case of war (1911); chief of the general staff; 
preparation for participation in European War 
worked out by him in detail and he became 
generalissimo of the entire Italian army; 
author of notable pamphlets on tactics. 



campaign in this region had opposed 
but slight resistance to the forward 
movement of the Italians. Further east 
a more severe struggle took place for 
the possession of the passes of the Car- 
nic Alps. Here the Italians took the 
Plbcken Pass and gradually extended 
their hold upon the peaks to its east 
and west, thus closing the gateways 
opening southward into the valley of 
the Tagliamento. The struggle con- 
tinued in the mountains during the en- 
tire summer, and took place chiefly at 
high altitudes. In the Trentino as a 
whole the Italians managed to get con- 
trol of most of the roads leading into 
their country. West of Lake Garda 
(Val Giudicaria) they pushed forward 
in the autumn and got close to Riva. 
On the east side of the lake, by the 
end of the year they were in the out- 
skirts of Rovereto. Farther east, on 
November 7, Col di Lana was taken by 
Garibaldi, but later abandoned, only 
to be recaptured in April, 1916. In 
the Carnic Alps the Austrians made 
desperate efforts to dislodge their ad- 
versaries from the passes seized by 
them in June, but to no avail ; the Itali- 
ans held. They failed, however, to get 
the Malborghctto works, but had better 
success in forcing the Austrians to 
abandon the Plezzo valley. South of 
Plezzo, Tolmino was invested, but with- 
out success. 

The nature of events on the eastern 
frontier was almost wholly determined 
by the obstacle forming the line of 
separation between the contending 
armies, i.e., the Isonzo River. From its 
left (Austrian) bank rise ridges upon 
ridges, whereas the right bank, from 
which the attack must come, below Go- 
rizia (Gorz), is flat (the Friuli plain). 
In crossing the river, therefore, the 
Italians would be compelled to fight up- 
hill. The rectangle Gorizia-Gradisca- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



145 



Trieste-San Daniele is occupied by the 
Carso (Karst) plateau, with hills from 
150 to 1700 feet high. This plateau 
would have to be taken, or at least a 
passage opened through it, before 
Trieste could be reached. On May 21< 
Italian troops occupied various small 
towns just across the frontier. Their 
troubles began when they undertook to 
cross the Isonzo, for soon after reach- 
ing it they found it in flood. It is said 
that their difficulties were increased by 
the failure of the cavalry to seize the 
bridges at Pieris. A dash for these 
bridges would have insured a crossing 
and might have given possession of a 
part at least of the Carso plateau. As 
it was, the Austrians blew up the 
bridges before any Italians got across. 
The flood subsiding on June 5, a cross- 
ing was made at Pieris and Monfalcone 
occupied. But now a fresh obstacle 
presented itself. The Austrians flooded 
the low country at the foot of the Carso 
plateau. The advance against the pla- 
teau was thus blocked, and operations 
along the entire line delayed. Another 
crossing had to be sought unaffected 
by the flood conditions. The point se- 
lected was just above Sagrado, where 
the river makes a great salient to the 
west ; unsuccessful attempts were made 
on June 9, 15, and 23. 

It was therefore decided to make a 
general advance along the whole line of 
the Carso, a movement which began 
June 18. By the 23d various villages 
at the foot of the Carso had been taken. 
A fourth attempt to cross succeeded on 
the 24th. The Italians by the 27th had 
got a bridgehead on the Isonzo and a 
line of advance to the Carso plateau. 
This struggle formed part of a gen- 
eral struggle over the whole line from 
Plezzo to the sea. The conflict was nec- 
essarily intensified at certain points, 
such as Gorizia, Plava, and Tolmino. 



Gorizia. — Gorizia lies in a bend of 
the river, and is dominated by the hills 
behind it stretching away into the gen- 
eral mountain system. On the west 
bank Monte Sabotino, itself command- 
ed by the hills on the eastern bank, like- 
wise controls the position; from Sabo- 
tino run out the Podgora heights well 
below (south of) Gorizia. Between 
Podgora and Gorizia is open ground 3 
miles wide, bounded on the southeast 
by the river. Sabotino and Podgora, 
thoroughly organized defensively by the 
Austrians, were unsuccessfully attacked 
by the Italians at the end of May. 
They were more successful at Plava. 
Back of the village stands Hill 383, and 
south of 383 a peak known as Kuk. 
The Italians hoped, if they could get 
across, to work down the left bank and 
menace Monte Santo, the bulwark of 
the Austrians on this bank in the Go- 
rizia sector. Attempts to cross by 
bridging on the 8th and 10th of June 
were defeated, but on the 11th two bat- 
talions were got over by rafting and 
attacked Hill 383, securing a footing 
on the lower slopes. Reinforcements 
enabled the Italians on the 17th, after 
heavy fighting, to gain the summit. 
They held the hill thereafter in spite 
of the efforts of the Austrians to win 
it back, but were unable to extend their 
holdings on the left bank. 

Tolmino. — At Tolmino the river 
turns 90 degrees from southeast to 
southwest. In the bend stand two hills 
joined by a saddle, Santa Maria and 
Santa Lucia. These were held by the 
Austrians, and formed with Sabotino 
and Podgora the only positions re- 
tained by them on the west bank of the 
Isonzo. North of Tolmino runs a 
range of high mountains, one of which, 
Monte Nero, rises over 7000 feet. Tol- 
mino itself was a point of some military 
importance, probably because the Aus- 



146 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



trians, should the occasion arise, meant 
to use it as a point of departure in the 
invasion of Italy. 

The resistance offered at Tolmino 
was more serious than apparently the 
Italians had expected. Their attempt 
to seize it by sudden attack failed, and 
they were compelled to proceed against 
the place by regular investment. In the 
meantime they were more fortunate 10 
miles to the northwest at Caporetto, 
which they had occupied on the first 
day of the war. The heights across 
were turned by a column that crossed 
higher up, climbed the Polonnik ridge, 
and thus drove the Austrians back on 
the Monte Nero ridge. On June 2 the 
highest peak of the ridge was in the 
hands of the Italians. The occupation 
of Monte Nero was a necessary condi- 
tion to operations directed southward 
against Tolmino, but Monte Nero it- 
self was not safe unless Plezzo, an Aus- 
trian base and magazine, could be neu- 
tralized. By June 23, the Italians had 
succeeded in getting into positions from 
which they threatened the Plezzo val- 
ley. They now came down from the 
north against Tolmino. In August 
they attacked Santa Lucia and Santa 
Maria, but were compelled to resort to 
trench warfare. Later, in October, the 
offensive was resumed, without how- 
ever succeeding in dispossessing the 
Austrians. 

Plava. — The war had now lasted over 
five months without any result of mag- 
nitude on the Isonzo front. But on 
October 18 began a general bombard- 
ment from Plava to the sea, as a prepa- 
ration for an extension beyond the 
.Plava bridgehead in order to attack 
Monte Santo from the north, for the 
capture of Sabotino-Podgora, and for 
the occupation of the Carso plateau. 
Operations in the Plava sector proved 
unfruitful, owing to the inability of the 



Italians to capture Kuk. As long as 
this elevation remained in Austrian 
hands, it was useless to think of pro- 
ceeding against Monte Santo. Hence 
the attack on the Gorizia front derived 
no help from the north. The fighting 
on this front lasted six weeks and at 
one time Monte Sabotino was actually 
taken but was not held. In December 
there was a lull but no cessation. As 
a result of their efforts the Italians had 
gained a little, and now turned their 
guns upon Gorizia itself. On the Carso 
plateau very little was achieved. Part 
of Monte San Michele was taken, as 
well as trenches on the northern slope 
of the plateau. But on the whole the 
Italian offensive had failed. The Aus- 
trian lines had held at all essential 
points. 

At the end of the year 1915 Italy 
had gained one of her points. She had 
closed the gates of her northern fron- 
tier, and held the keys. A period of 
relative quiet then prevailed. In May, 
1916, the Austrians began a success- 
ful drive down the Adige valley, forc- 
ing the Italians back over their own 
frontier at many points. The Italian 
towns of Arsiero and Asiago were cap- 
tured. This campaign against Italy 
was brought to a sudden halt by the 
Russian offensive in Galicia, and in a 
short time the Italians had regained 
most of the lost ground. In August 
the Italians won their greatest victory 
of the war. This was the taking of Go- 
rizia, the key to Trieste. The attack 
began in the Malfalcone sector. Then 
San Sabotino and San Michele, the 
other two defenses of the city, were 
taken with a rush. The city itself was 
attacked from all sides. A bloody en- 
gagement was fought at the Podgora 
bridge crossing the Isonzo. The Itali- 
ans pushed eastward across the Carso 
plateau, which extends 22 miles to Tri- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



147 



este. They captured San Grado and 
several lines of trenches near Loguizza. 
On October 11 the Italians stormed the 
whole first line of Austrian defenses. 
They captured Loguizza and Jamiano. 
In November the Italians began an- 
other great offensive on the Carso pla- 
teau and advanced an average of % 
of a mile. They claimed to have taken 
39,000 prisoners to date. The wintry 
months of December, 1916, and Janu- 
ary, 1917, prevented further operations. 
Artillery and aerial engagements were 
frequent. 

Italian Spring and Summer Offens- 
sives. — The winter on the Italian front 
was very severe and of long duration. 
The time was spent in increasing the 
entire military establishment on the 
front and (by the Italians) in pre- 
paring to meet an Austrian attack on 
the Trentino front, and in organizing 
an Italian attack in the southern part 
of the battleline. The plans of the 
Italian General Staff were as follows : 
First, to engage the enemy on the en- 
tire front from Tolmino to the sea in 
an intense artillery action which would 
leave him doubtful as to the real direc- 
tion of the decisive attacks ; then to 
attack on the right wing to the north 
of Gorizia, and, lastly, to strike out 
on the Carso. 

Operations were begun on May 12, 
and on May 14, the infantry advanced 
from Plava and Gorizia. Initial suc- 
cesses were gained on Mount Cucco 
and Mount Santo. On the entire front 
the Austrians presented stubborn and 
determined resistance. The next day 
the Isonzo was crossed between Loga 
and Bodrez and new advances were 
made on the two mountains mentioned 
above, and on the Vodice ridge. By the 
22d the advances were consolidated and 
the Italians had a firm grip on the whole 
mountainous ridge which separates the 



Isonzo from the deep valley which 
branches out in front of Anhovo. The 
Italians had taken over 7000 prison- 
ers. 

In order to create a diversion the 
Austrians attacked in the Trentino re- 
gion (May 19 to 22). Unsuccessful 
attacks were made in Val Sugana, on 
the Asiago plateau, around Lake 
Garda and in the Adige valley. A 
strong attack in force was repulsed by 
the Italians on the 22d, after tempo- 
rary successes in the Piccolo Colbri- 
con and in the Travignolo valley. In 
these attacks the Austrians lost many 
men, killed, wounded, and captured. 

On May 23, the Italian infantry, 
after tremendous artillery preparation, 
attacked on the southern edge of the 
Carso Plateau from Castagnavizza to 
the sea. Over 100 aeroplanes aided in 
this battle. Lucati, Jamiano, Bagni, 
and several important heights were 
captured. On the next day the battle 
was resumed and extended from Gorizia 
to the sea. Allied monitors bombarded 
the extremity of the Austrian lines with 
heavy naval guns. The Italians ad- 
vanced in the face of exceedingly stub- 
born resistance — counterattacks, vio- 
lent shelling, and aerial bombardments 
from machines flying very low to the 
ground. The Italians in this phase of 
the battle took 17,000 prisoners and 
20 guns and were within 11 miles of 
Trieste. 

The Austrians on June 1 began an 
offensive which compelled the Italians 
to retire somewhat from their newly won 
positions. On account of the conditions 
in Russia (see above) they were able 
to bring up great quantities of men and 
material from the Eastern front. On 
June 3, a general attack from Mount 
S. Marco to the sea was begun and 
lasted with unabated intensity for 
three days. It was at first successful. 



148 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Italian positions on Mount S. Marco 
were taken and positions on Dosso Faiti 
were penetrated. South of Jamiano 
the Italians were compelled to give up 
a strip of territory which they did not 
have time to consolidate. A counter- 
assault by General Cadorna in the 
Trentino compelled the Austrians to 
give up this offensive which was sup- 
posed to neutralize the Italian gains in 
the latter part of May. There is no 
doubt that the fighting on the Carso 
favored the Italians in the first months 
of the campaign, although it is doubt- 
ful if they penetrated the Austrian 
lines as far as the General Staff had 
hoped. 

During July and the first part of 
August the opposing forces battled 
back and forth in an attempt to get ad- 
vantageous positions. The Italians ad- 
vanced on the Carso and took Dalino, 
and repulsed strong Austrian attacks 
in the Trentino. The Austrian artil- 
lery was everywhere active, as though 
it was attempting to prevent the Itali- 
ans from organizing an offensive on a 
large scale. Nevertheless, on the night 
of August 18, the Italians began a 
spectacular offensive from Tolmino to 
the sea, a front of approximately 37 
miles. The attack was made by the 
Third Army, under General Cappello, 
which operated on the Bainsizza pla- 
teau, Monte Santo, and Monte San Ga- 
briele, and the Second Army, under the 
Duke of Aosta, which operated in the 
Vippacco and Brestovizza valleys, and 
in front of the Hermada mountains. 
These armies were aided by Italian and 
British monitors in the Gulf of Trieste 
and by vast fleets of aeroplanes. 

The Italians paved the way for their 
advance by a great engineering feat. 
They had diverted the course of the 
waters of the Isonzo River from its bed 
above Anhovo and had built bridges 



across the shallow stream that re- 
mained. This work was done at night, 
and at daylight the stream was re-di- 
verted to its regular channel. By 
means of these bridges and some pon- 
toon bridges hastily constructed the 
Italians crossed the river on the 18th 
and gained a foothold on the northern 
part of the Bainsizza plateau. At the 
same time General Cappello's right 
wing began to envelop Monte Santo. 
These two movements compelled the 
Austrians to retire to the easternmost 
edge of the Bainsizza plateau. The 
Italians captured a vast quantity of 
military stores and food supplies, be- 
sides a great number of prisoners. From 
the nature of the Austrian defenses, it 
was quite apparent that the Austrian 
Staff thought this plateau impregna- 
ble. On August 24, the Italians oc- 
cupied the summit of Monte Santo, 
2240 feet high, and on September the 
summit of Monte San Gabriele, 1700 
feet above the Isonzo and 300 feet 
above Monte San Daniele. The Austri- 
ans still held the eastern slopes of 
Monte San Gabriele. 

The Duke of Aosta had been busy 
in the south in the meanwhile. His ob- 
ject was to surround the Hermada 
mountains, which were the key to Tri- 
este, and to occupy the Vippacco val- 
ley. In his assault on the Hermada he 
was aided to a large extent by moni- 
tors and aeroplanes. He was unable 
to break through the Hermada moun- 
tains, however, and spent the entire 
month in fruitless efforts. During Sep- 
tember and early October, General Cap- 
pello succeeded in driving the Austri- 
ans from the slopes of Monte San Ga- 
briele, and also made slight gains on 
the Bainsizza and Carso plateaus. The 
objectives of the Italian summer cam- 
paign were to capture ultimately Tri- 
este and Laibach. The capture of the 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



149 



former would destroy the submarine 
bases in the Adriatic, and the capture 
of the latter would open up the wa} r to 
Vienna. The sudden German-Austrian 
blow at the northern extremity of the 
battle-line compelled the Italians to give 
up their entire gains of the year. 

Great Italian Retreat. — As has been 
described above, the main Italian army 
was striking on a comparatively limit- 
ed front on the Bainsizza plateau. The 
entire line of action was scarcely more 
than 12 or 15 miles long. This attack- 
ing force was composed of seasoned 
veterans. The armies protecting its 
flank were of unequal strength and were 
used for different purposes. Those on 
the upper Isonzo were territorials, i.e., 
older men who in peace times are held 
in reserve. They extended from Tol- 
mino to Plezzo (Flitsch) and were to 
protect the flank of the Bainsizza army. 
The troops on the lower Isonzo were 
veterans, who were thrusting forward 
on the Carso plateau pari passu with 
the troops on the Bainsizza, and who 
were ultimately to march on Trieste. 
The German General Staff had been 
receiving calls for help from the Aus- 
trians for some time and at last gave 
heed to them. The strategy of the Ger- 
man plan was to strike at the unsea- 
soned troops on the upper Isonzo, break 
through, and then cut the lines of com- 
munications of the other two armies 
by outflanking them. This plan was 
put into operation and worked exceed- 
ingly well. The task was made easier 
by the collapse of Russia, a superiority 
of artillery, surprise, socialistic propa- 
ganda, and cowardice, which General 
Cadorna claimed was exhibited by his 
troops on the upper Isonzo. 

The battle began on October 21, with 
a bombardment of the Plezzo-Tolmino 
front and the northern flank of the 
Bainsizza plateau. Under cover of these 



guns the Germans and Austrians broke 
through the front-line trenches at Plez- 
zo and Tolmino and crossed to the west- 
ern bank of the Isonzo. Converging 
from these points on Caporetto, the 
Germans opened the way down the val- 
leys of the Natisone and Judrio rivers. 
This move threatened the rear of the 
Bainsizza and Carso armies, and com- 
pelled them to begin a hasty retreat. 
By the 27th Berlin announced the cap- 
ture of 60,000 Italians (mostly non- 
combatants used behind the lines) and 
500 guns. This was accomplished by 
the capture of Monte Matajur, which 
dominated the Italian rear down the 
valleys of the two rivers mentioned 
above. The retreat from the plateaus 
through Gorizia across hastily con- 
structed bridges over the Isonzo be- 
came a rout. On the 28th Civadale was 
taken, which opened up railway com- 
munication with Udine, the seat of the 
Italian General Headquarters. This 
advance also compelled the Fourth 
Italian Army, which was guarding the 
frontier in the Carnic Alps, to abandon 
the passes on the frontier and retreat 
down the streams flowing into the Tag- 
liamento and Piave rivers. 

On October 30 Udine fell, and by the 
first of November the Teutonic Allies 
had reached the Tagliamento River. 
The Italians, particularly the cavalry, 
fought valiant rearguard actions to 
stem the tide of invasion and hold the 
line of the Tagliamento. So far they 
had lost 180,000 prisoners and 1500 
guns. The Germans couldn't be 
stopped. They crossed the Tagliamen- 
to in scores of places, increased their 
number of prisoners to 250,000 (Ger- 
man report), and the number of guns 
to 2300. The next river flowing into 
the Gulf of Trieste was the Livenza. 
This offered very little chances of re- 
sistance and was defended merely to 



150 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



give more time to prepare the line of 
the Piave River, from 10 to 20 miles 
further west. This line had been a 
training base for recruits and was pro- 
tected by modern trenches and other 
fortifications. French and British in- 
fantry and heavy artillery, which was 
sorely needed, was arriving daily in 
ever-increasing numbers. At this stage 
a change in command was made. Gen- 
eral Cadorna was succeeded by General 
Diaz, who was to be assisted by Gen- 
erals Badoglio and Giardino. The al- 
lied reserves were held on the Adige line 
in case the Italians were unable to de- 
fend the Piave. The Adige line was 
very strong naturally, and was practi- 
cally incapable of a flanking movement 
such as had won all the rivers so far 
gained. 

The strategy of the Austro-German 
Staff was now to outflank the lower 
Piave line, which was fairly strong, by 
seizing the Asiago plateau and the hills 
between the Piave and the Brenta and 
coming down the Piave valley. They 
also attempted to cross the lower Piave 
at several points and were successful 
at Zenson and one or two other points. 
They were driven back at all of these 
except the first. The Teutons were at 
a great disadvantage because they were 
unable to bring up their heavy artil- 
lery on account of the destruction of 
the railroads. The extreme lower Piave 
was protected by great naval floats and 
the Italian fleet. A large area between 
Venice and the mouth of the Piave was 
flooded, which effectively prevented fur- 
ther crossings near the coast. 

The Central Allies now concentrated 
their efforts to break through in the 
neighborhood of the Asiago plateau, the 
weakest point of the Italian line. They 
captured the village of Asiago and 
other more or less important points, 
but up to January, 1918, they were 



unable to break through to the Venetian 
plains. The Italians gradually with- 
drew in the region from Lake Garda 
to the upper reaches of the Piave in 
order to strengthen their positions for 
defensive purposes. They grimly held 
on to Monte Tomba and Monte Mon- 
feriera that guarded the gateway to the 
plains between the Brenta and the Piave 
rivers. Mass attacks comparable to 
those used by the Crown Prince at 
Verdun were repeatedly made on these 
mountain slopes, but the rock trenches 
of the Italians held firmly. These 
peaks are a part of a chain of low 
mountains which stretch across the 
plain between the Piave and the Brenta. 
For more than three weeks this moun- 
tain range was the scene of extremely 
bitter fighting. Intense artillery duels 
were fought, and the Teutons and the 
Italians took turns at the offensive. 
Each side won local successes but the 
main Italian line held. 

The Germans and Austrians made 
another great effort to break through 
in the first week of December, 1917. 
This time they struck between the 
Brenta and Astico rivers. The main 
attack was delivered on a four-mile 
front from Ronchi valley to Monte 
Kaberlaba after heavy artillery prepa- 
ration. This was where the new Italian 
line was anchored to the line held be- 
fore the great retreat began. The Itali- 
ans were about to withdraw when the 
attack was made. In three days' furi- 
ous fighting (5th to 8th) the Germans 
took 15,000 prisoners. The Italians 
were forced back to positions more 
easily defended. Their line had been 
U-shaped and the bulge had been driven 
into a straight line. Their line was 
based on a group of low mountains 
similar to those between the Brenta and 
the Piave. The Austro-German troops 
tcck these mountains one by one. On 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



151 



December 15 they stormed Col Caprille 
and took 3000 prisoners. On the 19th 
they also stormed Monte Asolone and 
took 2000 more prisoners. They were 
now within four miles of the plains that 
would lead them to Venice and outflank 
the Piave line. With a desperation 
born of despair, the Italians counter- 
assaulted and regained the lost posi- 
tions on Monte Asolone. 

The Germans had taken almost 4000 
square miles of territory, 300,000 pris- 
oners, and 2700 guns, according to re- 
ports from Berlin. 

When the campaign closed on the 
Italian front in 1917 the Italians were 
in a very precarious position. The 
Austro-German armies held almost all 
the important passes to the Venetian 
plains and had established a foothold 
on the southern bank of the lower Piave 
at Zenson. The opening of 1918 saw 
two points of strategical advantage to 
the Italians. One was the cooperation 
in force of the British and French 
armies under Generals Plumer and 
Fayolle, respectively, and the other was 
the tremendous fall of snow in the last 
half of December, which ended the ex- 
tremely open winter, which had aided 
the Teutonic invaders, and which now, 
not only seriously hampered their lines 
of communications, but prevented them 
from capturing vital passes, and from 
debouching on to the Venetian plains 
from those they had already captured. 
In January and February by a series of 
local successes, the Italians, British, 
and French compelled the enemy to give 
up the offensive and seek defensive po- 
sitions. By the capture of the north- 
ern summit of Monte Tomba (Dec. 31, 
1917) and by advancing four miles 
up the Piave toward Quero (Jan. 20- 
23), the French compelled the enemy 
to retire from Monte Monfenera, which 
was the eastern gateway to the Vene- 



tian plains. On January 28 the Itali- 
ans started a drive which extended from 
the Nos valley to the Brenta, covering 
Monte di Val Bella, the Col del Rosso, 
Monte Sisemol, Bertigo, and the Fren- 
zela river. This drive broke up an Aus- 
trian drive aimed to break through to 
the plains at those points and estab- 
lished for the Italians what were to be 
new and permanent positions on Monte 
di Val Bella and Col del Rosso. This 
effectively closed the only other passage 
to the Venetian plains in the hands of 
the Austrians and Germans. During 
February and March attempts to dis- 
lodge the Allies were futile. The en- 
emy foothold on the southern bank of 
the Piave was also wiped out by a per- 
fectly combined artillery and infantry 
attack by the Italians. The result of 
these three local successes was to put 
the Austro-Germans on the defensive 
and to increase the difficulties of a de- 
bouching movement onto the plains of 
Venetia. The month of January saw 
a change in the Austro-German com- 
mand on the Italian front. General 
Borovic succeeded Archduke Eugene 
as supreme commander. Borovic had 
before this commanded the Piave front. 
Field Marshal Conrad von Hoetzen- 
dorf still retained his command on the 
mountain front. It is stated that Gen- 
eral Borovic was promoted in order to 
placate the Slavic elements in the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian empire. 

The Austrian Failure in Italy. — The 
long looked for offensive on the Italian 
front which was expected to finish the 
work of 1917 developed in June, 1918, 
and extended along the whole front 
from the Asiago plateau to the sea, 
nearly 100 miles. The movement was 
entirely Austrian, all the German 
troops, which participated in the Ital- 
ian debacle of 1917, having been with- 
drawn for use on the western front. It 



152 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



is understood that the German mili- 
tary party had told Austria in no un- 
certain tones that she alone was ex- 
pected to put Italy completely out of 
the war. The Austrian plan of attack 
was as follows : Field Marshal von 
Hoetzendorf was to break through the 
Allied positions on the Asiago plateau, 
and at Monte Grappa and Monte Tom- 
ba, and then march down the Brenta 
valley, and debouch on to the plains by 
way of Bassano. In conjunction with 
Hoetzendorf, General Borovic was to 
cross the Piave between Montello and 
the upper stretches of the Piave delta, 
and thus outflank Venice, and leave it 
the alternatives of surrender or destruc- 
tion. The capture of Montello would 
assure the Austrians domination of sev- 
eral important railway centres and pos- 
sibly cause a huge disaster. The offen- 
sive was well planned and everything 
done to insure its success. The Aus- 
trians were well supplied with gas shells, 
smoke shells, rafts, pontoons, and every 
other means of carrying on modern 
warfare. 

From the outset, the attempts to 
reach the manufacturing heart of Italy 
were doomed to failure. In the moun- 
tain region the first attack took Pen- 
nar, Cornone, Fenilon and Mt. Moschin 
from the French and British defenders. 
Less than two days later, the Allies, 
at the point of the bayonet, had recov- 
ered all the ground lost and some more 
besides. They took almost 1000 pris- 
oners and a few machine guns, which 
were particularly noteworthy achieve- 
ments in an offensive of this kind. 

The Austrians were a little more suc- 
cessful along the Piave. Their success 
was largely due to the very effective 
use of "tear" shells and smoke screens. 
They crossed at San Dona, Capo Sile 
(the old Piave), San Andrea, Candelu, 
Zenson, and Nervesa. The last named 



place is on the slopes of the plateau of 
Montello, which has been mentioned 
above. On the 16th, they reached Fos- 
salta and threatened to cross the canal 
of the same name, which branches off 
from the Piave at Fossalta and extends 
to Porte Grand. On this day they also 
extended their gains on II Montello but 
were held at all other places where they 
had crossed. Nature now came to the 
aid of the Italians, in the form of ex- 
ceedingly heavy rainstorms, which made 
the Piave a swollen flood. This had 
two effects, first, it cut off completely 
the Austrians on the western bank of 
the river, and, second, it enabled Italian 
naval monitors of light draft to go up 
the river and heavily bombard the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian positions. On June 23, 
the Italians began an offensive all along 
the western bank against the isolated 
Austrian positions, which resulted in 
the capture of 4500 prisoners. By the 
first week in July, not only had the Al- 
lies driven the enemy back to their old 
positions, but, in some cases, captured 
ground which had been lost in 1917, 
notably the delta at the mouth of the 
Piave. On June 29, Monte di Valbella 
was captured and on the next day Col 
del Rosso. Minor engagements, invari- 
ably favorable to the Allies, further 
closed up the mountainous gates to the 
plains of Venetia. 

By July 10, the Austrian offensive 
and the Allied counter-offensive had 
practically subsided. The result was 
a decisive victory for the Allied arms, 
particularly the Italians. The leaven- 
ing effect on Italian, as well as allied 
morale, was remarkable, and, naturally, 
it had a very depressing effect on the 
Austro-Hungarians. The Austro-Hun- 
garian war office announced that 35,- 
000 prisoners were captured, but most 
military critics say these figures are 
very high in the light of events. The 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



153 



Austrian casualties were, estimated by 
the Italians to have been nearly 300,- 
000. Twenty thousand prisoners were 
taken. 

The Complete Collapse of Austria- 
Hungary. — Austria-Hungary was the 
third member of the Central Alliance to 
make a separate peace with the Allies 
{see below). An armistice, amounting 
to unconditional surrender, was signed 
on Nov. 3, after Italy and her Allies 
had secured one of the most decisive 
victories of the war. Sixty-three Aus- 
trian divisions were utterly routed by 
51 Italian divisions, 3 British, 2 French, 
and 1 Czechoslovak division, and the 
332d American Infantry regiment. On 
Nov. 4, the Italian War Office report- 
ed, "The Austro-Hungarian army is 
destroyed. It suffered heavy losses in 
the fierce resistance of the first days of 
the struggle, and in pursuit it has lost 
an immense quantity of material of all 
kinds, nearly all its stores and depots, 
and has left in our hands about 300,000 
prisoners, with their commands com- 
plete, and not less than 500 guns." 

The main attack was made on Oc- 
tober 24, when the Italians and their 
allies began a heavj^ artillery fire in 
the mountainous regions around the 
Asiago plateau and Monte Grappa. 
The first Italian infantry assault forced 
a passage of the Ornic river and cap- 
tured Monte Salarole, and parts of 
Mts. Prossolan and Pertica. The Brit- 
ish on the same day occupied some 
islands in the Piave, which the Austro- 
Hungarians had held since their abor- 
tive offensive in June {see above). By 
the 28th, three allied armies had forced 
their way across the Piave and were 
driving the enemy precipitously before 
them, with cavalry units well in advance 
of the infantry. The Austro-Hungari- 
ans were in a disorderly rout and made 
absolutely no attempt to carry along 



or destroy their munitions and sup- 
plies. Vittorio was reached on the 30th, 
and on the next day Italian forces 
reached Ponte nelle Alpi, which sepa- 
rated the Austrian army in the moun- 
tains from that along the Piave. The 
capture of the Vadal pass on the same 
day penned 15 Austrian divisions be- 
tween the Brenta and Piave rivers. 

By the first of November, four armies 
had reached the Livenza and cavalry 
outposts had operated almost to the 
Tagliamento. On the 2d, the Italians 
had advanced in the Trentino as far as 
the Sugana valley and by the next day, 
when the armistice was signed, Rovereto 
and Trent were occupied. Italian and 
British cavalry also had entered Udine 
and had overrun the plains surrounding 
it. On the last day of the fighting 
Italian land and sea forces had occu- 
pied the great Austrian naval base and 
seaport at Trieste. 

On Oct. 31, Austria-Hungary sued 
for an armistice. Terms were handed 
to her on the next day, which were ac- 
cepted. They went into effect on Nov. 
3, and may be summed up as follows: 

1. Immediate cessation of hostilities 
by land, sea, and air. 

2. Total demobilization of the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian army and the with- 
drawal of all troops operating with the 
Germans from the North Sea to Switz- 
erland. Half of the divisional, corps, 
and army artillery and equipment to 
be delivered to the Allies. 

3. Evacuation of all territories in- 
vaded by Austro-Hungarian troops, 
since the beginning of the war. Also 
the evacuation of all territory which 
was subject to dispute between the 
Austro-Hungarians on one hand and 
Italians and Slavs on the other. This 
territory was to be occupied by the 
forces of the Allies. All railway equip- 
ment, etc., in the evacuated territory 



154 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



to be left as it was when the armistice 
was signed. No new destruction or pil- 
lage was to be permitted in the terri- 
tories to be evacuated. 

4. The Allies were to be able to oc- 
cupy any strategical points in Austria- 
Hungary that they desired, and all 
means of transportation were to be at 
their disposal. 

5. All German troops were to be 
withdrawn from the Balkan and Italian 
fronts as well as from Austria-Hun- 
gary. 

6. Evacuated territory was to be 
governed by the local authorities, un- 
der the control of the Allies. 

7. All Allied prisoners of war to be 
immediately repatriated as well as civil- 
ians who had been removed from their 
homes. 

8. Surrender to the Allies of 15 Aus- 
tro-Hungarian submarines, and the rest 
disarmed and the crews paid off. 

9. Surrender of 3 battleships, 3 
light cruisers, 9 destroyers, 12 torpedo 
boats, 1 mine layer, and 6 Danube 
monitors. All other surface craft to 
be collected at points designated and 
completely disarmed. 

10. Freedom of navigation for the 
Allies on the Danube river and in the 
Adriatic. 

11. The existing rules of blockade to 
remain unchanged. 

12. Occupation by the Allies of Pola. 

13. All allied merchant vessels held 
by Austria-Hungary to be released. 

14. No destruction of ships or ma- 
terial to be permitted and all naval and 
merchant marine prisoners to be re- 
patriated. 

See section headed Peace Confer- 
ence. 

The Balkans. Serbia. — Serbia be- 
gan her mobilization July 26, 1914, 
and two days later Austria declared 
war. There seems to be reason for 



the belief that Austria lost time in pass- 
ing to actual hostilities. Apparently 
she could have seized Belgrade at once, 
and thus secured a footing on Serbian 
soil, some days before the Serbians 
were ready to strike back. She delayed, 
however, and when she did move, it was 
across the Drina, on the west. An in- 
vasion from the Drina would lengthen 
her lines, but if successful would enable 
her to strike at the heart of the coun- 
try. The lack of good communications 
would tell on one adversary as much 
as on the other, and would be largely 
compensated by Austrian superiority 
in transport. Accordingly after dem- 
onstrations on the Danube, on August 
12, she sent her first troops over at 
Losnitza on the Drina, on the same day 
she crossed the Save near Shabatz. 
Other troops crossed the Drina at Zvor- 
nik and Liubovia. The direct objective 
of the Austrians was to reach Valievo, 
and thence Kraguyevats, the site of the 
National Serbian arsenal. The com- 
manding generals on the respective 
sides were Potiorek (Austrian) and 
Putnik (Serbian). 

The line of the Austrian invasion 
being known, the bulk of the Serbians 
moved to meet it in the direction of 
the Jadar valley, while sending troops 
to the northwest to offset the invasion 
from Shabatz. In the meantime the 
Austrians moved up the Jadar, and the 
Serbians, or as many as had come up 
to join the sparse forces falling back 
before the advance, intrenched at Jare- 
bitze, across the valley. The Serbian 
cavalry, sent to reconnoitre the Match- 
va plain, reported the Austrians pres- 
ent in force, and therefore received or- 
ders, with the Serbian right, to prevent 
the Austrians from the north from join- 
ing the troops that had crossed the 
Drina. The main body occupied posi- 
tions extending well to the south of 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



155 



Jarebitze, while other forces were de- 
tailed to beat off attacks coming from 
Krupani, 15 miles south, and from 
Liubovia, another crossing of the 
Drina. 

The battle opened in earnest August 
16, on the Serbian right. The action, 
lasting all day, resulted in the defeat of 
the Austrians, and in bringing to 
nought their plan to join their forces 
on the Jadar. It also left the Serbians 
free to operate against Shabatz. On 
the 17th they pushed on to within 4 
miles of that town, only to find it 
strongly defended ; they therefore aban- 
doned, for the moment, any further 
active efforts and awaited reinforce- 
ments. On the centre and left, the Aus- 
trians had better fortune, and succeed- 
ed in pushing back their adversaries. 
This was particularly the case on the 
Serbian extreme left. But on the 17th, 
the Serbians resumed the offensive, and 
captured two positions in the Tzer. 
Further south, however, the Austrians 
were again successful, and drove back 
the Serbians, who, however, intrenched, 
ready to move forward again the next 
day. On the 18th, the Austrians ad- 
vancing from Shabatz, drove back the 
Serbs in front of the town, and at the 
same time prepared to resist the ex- 
pected Serb attack on Kosannigrad, 
their main position on Tzer. This at- 
tack was successful, and the Serbs then 
turned their efforts against an eleva- 
tion between the two mountain ranges 
(Rashulatcha) which was taken the fol- 
lowing day, the 19th, on which the issue 
of the battle was decided. The Aus- 
trian right was beaten on that day, and 
the Serbs were now in possession of 
Tzer and Iverak. On the 20th, the 
Dobrava was crossed, fighting con- 
tinued on the 21st, 22d, and 23d; on 
the 24th, the Serbs entered Shabatz. 
While these actions were going on, the 



Austrians farther south had been re- 
treating to the Drina, and the invasion 
had failed. The losses on both sides in 
the battle of Jadar were heavy, prob- 
ably 35,000 killed and wounded Aus- 
trians and 18,000 Serbs. The Serbs 
took 4000 prisoners, and gathered in 
a considerable quantity of guns, rifles, 
and military stores generally. 

On September 1, the Serbs invaded 
Syrmia, a province lying between the 
Save and the Danube. On the whole, 
this step was ill-advised, and in any 
case of short duration, for now the Aus- 
trians were about to launch another in- 
vasion, like the first, from the line of 
the Drina, under the same general. 
About five corps composed this invad- 
ing army. The attack opened over the 
whole line from Liubovia on the south 
to Jarak on the north. North of Los- 
nitza the Austrians fared badly, save 
that they managed to acquire a strip 
of the Matchva plain. South of Los- 
nitza, however, they established their 
crossing and drove back the Serbs to a 
line about 10 miles from the river, where 
they intrenched. Here they turned, 
and drove their adversaries out of the 
position. But no decisive result was 
achieved by either side, for in this re- 
gion both settled down to trench work. 
A struggle ensued, however, for the 
Guchevo mountains, equally indecisive, 
for they were held by both. 

After six weeks of position fighting 
the Serbs retreated, abandoning the 
Matchva and the Tzer. The Austrians 
followed over the whole frontier, en- 
tering Valievo on November 11. The 
Serbs now took up a position down the 
Kolubara River to the Lyg, up which 
their line turned to the southeast ; the 
heights south of this position were oc- 
cupied and protected by earthworks. 
On November 11, the Austrians at- 
tacked towards Lazarevatz, and a de- 



156 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



tached force 20 miles southwest guard- 
ing the valley of the western Morava. 
On November 20, the first of these at- 
tacks proved successful and drove in 
the Serb centre. By the 24th, the ac- 
tion had extended over the whole front 
with continued success falling to the 
Austrians, who later in the month got 
possession of the Suvobor mountains, 
dominating, as it were, the Serbian po- 
sitions. They had now succeeded in ex- 
tending their front to Belgrade, and 
had thus cut the region in two, driv- 
ing back the Serbs in the direction of 
Kraguyevats, on a line from the Bel- 
grade railway to the western Morava. 
The situation was now saved to the 
Serbs by a resumption of the offensive. 
On December 2, they attacked and, on 
the 5th, recaptured the Suvobor, and 
drove back the Austrian right and cen- 
tre to Valievo. The advance was equal- 
ly successful in the other sectors. Its 
result was an interposition between the 
three Austrian corps on the south and 
the two farther north. The three south- 
erly corps retreated as well as they 
could on the frontier. The action now 
turned towards Belgrade, towards 
which the Austrians were steadily driv- 
en back. The evacuation of the capital 
occurred on December 14 and 15. Near- 
ly 42,000 Austrians were taken prison- 
ers ; 60,000 were killed and wounded. 

Bulgaria. — Serbia was once more in 
October, 1915, called upon to defend 
her territory, for Bulgaria had finally 
decided to cast in her lot with the Cen- 
tral Powers. Accordingly her armies 
crossed the Serbian frontier towards 
Nish, striking in conjunction with the 
Austro-German forces, which had al- 
ready begun their invasion from the 
north. Meanwhile French and English 
troops, debarked at Saloniki, were has- 
tening up along the Saloniki-Nish rail- 
road. The importance of the new cam- 



paign centred in the strategic value of 
the railroad, as there was no other line 
from Austria to Constantinople that 
did not cross Rumanian territory. At 
Velika Plana, 25 miles from the Serbian 
frontier, the railroad forks, its two 
branches running respectively to Bel- 
grade and to Semendria, with the latter 
route in the Morava River. It was 
up this line that the Austro-Germans 
advanced, after capturing Belgrade. 

In the first week of October the Aus- 
tro-German army, reported to be 300,- 
000 strong, crossed the Danube near 
Belgrade and at Semendria, while other 
armies attacked farther west along the 
Drina and Save rivers. Among the com- 
manders of the invading armies was 
Field Marshal von Mackensen, in com- 
mand of the army east of Belgrade. 

Bulgaria's first operations were di- 
rected towards Nish. But realizing the 
danger of the arrival of Allied rein- 
forcements from Saloniki, the Bulgar- 
ians then developed their main attacks 
farther south against the railroad, at 
Vranya and Vilandovo. At the latter 
point, only five miles from the south- 
western corner of Bulgaria, an army of 
40,000 men threatened to cut the rail- 
way. Serbo-French troops, however, 
hurried up, and threatening the Bul- 
garian town of Strumnitza behind these 
troops, compelled them to fall back. 
At Vranya, however, some 60 miles 
south of Nish, the Bulgarians were more 
successful. 

The advance of the Austro-German 
columns from the north was at first 
slow, for by the end of October they 
had gained, advancing on a 100-mile 
front, only from 25 to 40 miles south 
of Belgrade. Another column about 
this time crossed the Drina River at 
Vishegrad, and constituted a new army 
of invasion. In the south, however, the 
Bulgarians having seized the Nish- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



157 



Saloniki railroad at Vranya, promptly 
confirmed their grip on the enemy's line 
of supplies by taking the important 
junction city of Uskub, and Veles, 25 
miles farther south. And in the mean- 
time, their columns directed towards 
Nish were making progress, and Pirot, 
on the Nish-Sofia line, was stormed aft- 
er a four-day battle. 

The Germans took the Serbian arsen- 
al at Kraguyevats during the second 
week in November. In the meantime, 
the other Austro-German columns had 
reached the east and west line of the 
Western Morava, at Krushevats at 
Kralyevo, before the middle of the 
month. The fall of Nish was not long 
delayed, upon a heavy bombardment by 
the Bulgars. A route to Constantino- 
ple had already been opened via the 
Danube, when Germans and Bulgars 
joined hands near Orsova. 

Meanwhile the Anglo-French forces 
from Saloniki held the railroad from 
Krivolak south to the frontier, and had 
gained some successes against the Bul- 
gars around Strumnitza. But these, 
moving wjth ease around the French 
left to the Babuna Pass, 25 miles west 
of Krivolak, swept aside the small Ser- 
bian defending force, and descended 
through the mountains upon Prilep and 
Krushevo. The French were scarcely 
able to maintain their position on the 
Vardar and Cerna rivers, and the small 
British force was but little in evidence 
north of Doiran. An Italian support- 
ing army was rumored to be about to 
land at Avlona. 

The remaining strokes in Serbia's de- 
feat followed quickly. Sienitza, Novi- 
bazar, Mitrovitza (the last the tempo- 
rary Serb capital) fell in rapid succes- 
sion before the Austro-German columns. 
Teutonic and Bulgarian invading forces 
joined hands at Prishtina, on the rail- 
road branch south of Mitrovitza, which 



surrendered with 10,000 men. On the 
last day of the month, the two remain- 
ing cities of importance, Prisrend and 
Monastir, were lost to Serbia. Sixteen 
thousand prisoners were taken at Pris- 
rend ; the rest of the fugitive northern 
army was driven either into Montenegro 
or Albania. 

At the beginning of December the 
main object of the German-Bulgar cam- 
paign in Serbia had been achieved. The 
Serbian army had been eliminated as a 
fighting force and the surviving Serb 
troops, fewer than 100,000 men, driven 
into Montenegro and Albania, where 
they were pursued by the Austrians, 
against whom they could make no stand 
whatever. 

The retreat of the Serbs from Kat- 
chanik left the French left flank, on 
the Cerna River, in a critical position. 
The retreat of the Allies, however, was 
skillfully conducted, and they succeeded 
in escaping to neutral territory, where 
they fortified themselves at Saloniki, 
with the intention apparently of hold- 
ing their position at all costs. Monte- 
negro was conquered by the Austrians 
in January. The capture of Mount 
Lovcen, dominating Cettinje, determin- 
ed the fall of the capital. The Aus- 
trians then proceeded to take Scutari 
in Albania (January 25, 1916), and 
joined hands with the Bulgars at El- 
basan, east of Durazzo, on February 
17. The Italians abandoned the place 
February 26, and the Austrians now ad- 
vanced against Avlona. The remnant 
of the Serbian army was transported 
by the Allies from the Albanian coast 
to the Island of Corfu to undergo re- 
organization. After a few months' rest 
the refitted army of 100,000 men was 
taken to Saloniki to reenforce the 
French and British forces concentrated 
there and await developments in the 
Balkans. 



158 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Allied Offensizre in Albania. — On 
July 6, 1918, the Allies, chiefly Italians 
and French, began to advance in Al- 
bania. The Italians crossed the Voyu- 
sa river and took 1000 prisoners. The 
French started down the valley of the 
Devoli river. By the 10th, the Ital- 
ians had reached Fieri, which controlled 
the only good road to Berat, the imme- 
diate objective. They had also reached 
the Semeni river, and, with the French, 
were rapidly converging on that city, 
which fell on the 11th. From here the 
Italians and French marched on El- 
bassan, which, is on the road to Duraz- 
zo. Before Durazzo could be reached, 
the Skumbi river would have to be 
forced. This stream was very strong- 
ly fortified and the retreating Aus- 
trians, reinforced, were reformed be- 
hind this line and began a counter-of- 
fensive. The Allies were compelled to 
beat a precipitate retreat and by Au- 
gust 29 were back of the Fieri-Berat 
line which they held until the great Bal- 
kan offensive began in September. {See 
below.) 

The long-awaited Allied drive from 
Saloniki began on July 29, when the 
reorganized Serbian army began to 
move north. Within two days it was 
entrenched 300 yards from the Greek 
frontier. With the entrance of Ru- 
mania into the war, an Allied offensive 
from the Adriatic to the JEgean began 
(August-September). The Italians ad- 
vanced in Albania, the French attacked 
from the Vardar to Lake Doiran, and 
the British crossed the Struma River 
and strongly entrenched themselves on 
the eastern bank. A Franco-Russian 
force advanced along the western bank 
of Lake Ostrovo and took Fiorina by 
assault on September 18. This opened 
up the road to Monastir, which was at- 
tacked by the French and Serbians 
about 15 miles northeast of Fiorina. 



In the meantime the Bulgarians con- 
tinued their invasion of northern 
Greece. Early in September a Bulgarian 
force crossed the frontier and took the 
fort of Drama. The Greeks made only 
a slight resistance. Seres was then taken 
and the provisional government de- 
scribed above (Outbreak of the War: 
Greece) was organized. The port of 
Kavala, long desired by the Bulgarians, 
was next seized. The Germans claimed 
that the garrison asked them for food, 
shelter, and protection. The Greek sol- 
diers were sent to Germany as guests of 
the nation in order not to violate 
Greece's neutrality. The fall of Kava- 
la completely cut off the Greek soldiers 
in the far eastern part of Macedonia. 

During the month of October the en- 
tire Allied line advanced. The Italian 
forces in Albania joined those of Gen- 
eral Sarrail and thus prevented any at- 
tempt to envelop his army. The Ser- 
bians continued their advance and 
stormed Kotchovie on the 1st. They 
then crossed the Cerna and broke 
through the Monastir defenses. With 
the aid of the French they won a very 
important political success by captur- 
ing the city on November 19. From a 
military point of view the victory was 
not so very important because severe 
weather prevented a successful pursuit. 
The entire front was quiet in 1917. 
The Allies' task was to move up the 
Varda, Struma, or Cerna valleys. This 
was made hopeless by the inactivity of 
the Russian armies. Local fighting oc- 
curred around Lake Doiran. The sit- 
uation up to September, 1918, was ap- 
proximately as in January, 1917. 

The Surrender of Bulgaria. — Bul- 
garia was the first of the Central Pow- 
ers to surrender to allied arms. This 
act marked the beginning of the end 
of the great war of the nations. Bul- 
garia's surrender was the direct result 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



159 



of a brilliant offensive carried out by 
French, British, Italian, Greek, Serbian, 
Czechoslovak, and Jugoslavic forces, 
under the supreme leadership of Gen- 
eral Franchet d'Esperey. The capitu- 
lation of Bulgaria meant the isolation 
of Turkey and her eventual loss to the 
Central Powers. It was also the death 
knell of the Teutonic Mittel Europa 
and Pan German ideas. British and 
Greek troops struck around Lake Doi- 
ran, on the right of the Macedonian 
front ; French and Serbian troops 
struck in the centre, and Italians struck 
on the left near and in Albania. The 
artillery preparations began on Sep- 
tember 14, 1918, and on the 17th-18th 
the Allied right started to advance, as 
well as the centre, which captured 45 
villages and crossed the Perez river. On 
the 21st, the Serbs east of Monastir ad- 
vanced 9 miles and freed 9 villages. 

By September 22, the Serbians had 
succeeded in cutting the communica- 
tions of the First Bulgarian Army, 
operating along the Vardar, and those 
of the Second Bulgarian Army and the 
Germans north of Monastir. This day 
saw a general pursuit of the armies of 
the Central Powers on a 90-mile front. 
On the 23d, the Serbians and French 
crossed the Vardar in the direction of 
Krivolak. On the 24th, French cavalry 
entered Prilep. The next day saw the 
capture of Ishtib and the formidable 
barriers to Veles. The British entered 
Strumnitza on September 26, and the 
Serbians reached Kochana and Veles. 
The Italians, with the aid of the 
Greeks and French, were marching on 
Kichevo. The road to Sofia was opened 
to the victorious Allies. Consequently, 
the Bulgarians sued for a separate ar- 
mistice. One containing terms of un- 
conditional surrender was granted on 
the 30th, when active fighting ceased. 
The last act of the fighting was the 



occupation of Uskub by the French on 
the 30th. A brief summary of the ar- 
mistice terms, which were purely mili- 
tary, are as follows : 

Bulgaria was to evacuate all allied 
territory, demobilize her army as rap- 
idly as possible, and turn over to the 
Allies all means of transport. 

The Allies were to be allowed to pass 
through Bulgaria if necessary to future 
military operations. 

Control of the Danube and Bulgarian 
merchant marine on that river to be 
given up. 

All important strategic points to be 
occupied by the Allies if they wish. 

If any part of Bulgaria was taken 
over it was to be occupied by British, 
French, and Italian troops. Evacuated 
portions of Greece and Serbia to be 
occupied by Greek and Serbian troops 
respectively. 

The armistice was to remain in op- 
eration until a general peace was con- 
cluded. 

Interest in the Balkans after the 
signing of the armistice centred in the 
driving out of the Teutonic troops from 
Albania, Serbia, and Montenegro. On 
October 1, the Bulgarians began to 
evacuate Serbian territory and two days 
later the Austrians began the evacua- 
tion of Albania. Greek troops entered 
Seres and seized the Demis-Hassan 
Pass on the 4th, and on the 8th they 
occupied Drama. Italians entered El- 
basan, Albania, on the 9th and the Al- 
lies took Nish on the 13th, thus cutting 
the Berlin-Constantinople railroad. The 
15th saw the fall of Durazzo. (The 
naval base had been destroyed on the 
2d by an Allied navy, which included 
American submarines.) On the 17th, 
the Serbians captured Alexinatz and 
Krushavatz, and the German forces in 
western Serbia retired into Montenegro. 
On the 21st, the French reached the 



160 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Danube near Vidon. Nine days later 
the Austrians fled from Montenegro and 
Cettinje and other places were occu- 
pied by insurgents. On the same day 
Scutari was seized by Albanian and 
Montenegrin irregulars. On November 
3, Belgrade was reoccupied and the 
Second Serbian army reached the Bos- 
nian border, which they passed, and, 
after crossing the Danube and Save 



This new force added about 600,000 
men under arms to the Allied cause and 
could increase this amount to 900,000 
including the reserves. From the out- 
set it was apparent that the Rumanian 
plan of attack was to invade Transyl- 
vania and thus attain the Rumanian 
ideal, i.e., to capture and hold the prov- 
inces of Austria-Hungary that were in- 
habited by Rumanians. As later events 




SCALE Of MILES 



Mesopotamia and Palestine Areas 



rivers, entered Serajevo, the scene of 
murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdi- 
nand and his wife, on June 28, 1914, 
on the 10th. 

The Macedonian front, which had 
been comparatively inactive since the 
beginning of the war, had suddenly be- 
come alive in September, 1918, and the 
operations there resulted in the cap- 
ture of nearly 100,000 prisoners and 
the complete elimination of Bulgaria 
from the war. 

Rumania. — As has been stated above 
the question of Rumania's entrance into 
the war was settled on April 28, 1916. 



turned out, the geographical features of 
Rumania were to play an important 
part in her campaigns. In general the 
shape of the country is like a large Y. 
The bottom of the Y is bounded by the 
Black Sea and the two arms are bound- 
ed across their mouth by the Austro- 
Hungarian province of Transylvania. 
Russia is on the north and Bulgaria on 
the south. The Alps (in Transylvania) 
and the Carpathians form formidable 
natural barriers. The Danube forms 
another natural boundary on the south 
for a part of the distance, but the ac- 
quisition of Bulgarian territory at the 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



161 



close of the Balkan Wars added a strip 
of territory bordering on the Black Sea 
which was peculiarly vulnerable. It 
later proved that this was going to be 
the point of Bulgarian attack and the 
starting place of the great German 
drive which ultimately resulted in the 
complete overrunning of the country. 

Immediately after the declaration of 
war the Rumanian forces swept into 
Transylvania with all the vigor a new 
army on its first campaign possesses. 
The first objectives were the two Tran- 
sylvanian cities of Kronstadt and Her- 
mannstadt just across the border. By 
the end of August both of these places 
had been captured with very little op- 
position. The Rumanians continued 
their impetuous advance apparently not 
taking into consideration the distance 
they were traveling from their base and 
also not considering their weak defen- 
sive line on the south. After the fall of 
Kronstadt they immediately struck west 
towards the coal fields. Another army, 
however, had crossed the Vulcan Pass 
and had captured Petroseny in the cen- 
tre of these fields on August 31. A 
third army captured Orsova on Septem- 
ber 1, after five days of the heaviest 
fighting the campaign had yet seen. On 
September 9 the Rumanians captured 
six more small villages and now held in 
their possession nearly one-fourth of 
Transylvania. 

The campaign now assumed such 
serious proportions that Von Hinden- 
burg was sent down with 450,000 men 
to check it. The Rumanians were not 
able to make any headway against the 
new enemy. They were forced to give 
up the Szurduk Pass and after the cap- 
ture of Petroseny were forced to give 
up the Vulcan Pass also. The check, 
however, was only temporary, inasmuch 
as in the middle of September another 
offensive on a large scale was begun 



west of Hermannstadt. It succeeded in 
driving the Teutons out of both the 
Szurduk and Vulcan passes. It then 
pushed on into the Jiu valley. 

This marked the high tide of the sec- 
ond Rumanian invasion, since the Ru- 
manians suffered a severe setback at 
Hermannstadt. The victory won here 
by the Austrians and their German al- 
lies was one of the greatest of the war. 
The battle raged four days and resulted 
in the complete annihilation of the first 
Rumanian army. The German army 
was divided into two parts. The first 
attacked the Rumanian front at Her- 
mannstadt while the second by a rapid 
enveloping movement came up in the 
Rumanian rear and cut off their only 
line of retreat, through the Red Tower 
Pass. The fleeing Rumanians were 
swallowed up when they came to this 
pass by a large force of Bavarians. Von 
Falkenhayn now stood at the entrance 
to Rumania without being opposed by 
any real army. The second Rumanian 
army tried to save the precarious situa- 
tion but came on the scene too late and 
was checked everywhere on a 50-mile 
offensive. The remains of the first army 
fled in great disorder through the Car- 
pathians to the east and west of the 
Red Tower Pass. 

Rumania was now threatened from 
another quarter, on the south. The 
forces in this sector were entirely insuf- 
ficient to withstand the attacks of the 
allied Bulgar and German army. The 
expected Russian reinforcements failed 
to arrive on scheduled time and another 
great drive similar to that in Serbia was 
begun. It entered the Rumanian terri- 
tory in two columns. The first under 
Von Mackensen entered the Dobrudja 
and captured Tutrakan on September 
3. The garrison of 20,000 men was 
forced to surrender. On September 10 
Mackensen took a second large fortress, 



162 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Silistria, which lies on the south bank 
of the Danube. The garrison of this 
fortress had been defeated by the Bul- 
garians in an attempt to relieve the 
fortress of Tutrakan. 

The second invading column at- 
tacked along the coast of the Black Sea. 
It captured Dobric and the seaports of 
Kali Akra, Baltjic and Kavarna. The 
arrival of a Russian force, however, 
compelled the invaders to give up all 
of these places with the exception of 
Baltjic. The battle on this front now 
settled down into trench warfare with 
the Rumanians holding a strong posi- 
tion extending from the Danube to the 
Black Sea. 

Rumania was now like a nut in the 
jaws of a nutcracker. Van Falkenhayn 
was pushing on from the north and Von 
Mackensen from the south. It was 
almost inevitable that she was to be 
crushed even as Serbia had been. Rus- 
sian reinforcements had been sent to 
strengthen the Rumanian line but they 
only succeeded temporarily. The 
Grand Duke Nicholas was placed in 
charge of these forces and he was also 
military adviser to the Rumanians. In 
the middle of October, 1916, King Fer- 
dinand of Rumania took personal com- 
mand of the Russo-Rumanian army. 

In the north the Germans pushed 
their way through the Vulcan Pass, hav- 
ing taken it by storm. Gradually Von 
Falkenhayn succeeded in pushing the 
Rumanians completely off the Transyl- 
vanian Alps. They also advanced fur- 
ther south of Kronstadt towards Kim- 
polung and the Sinaia, the Rumanian 
summer capital. They now had a grip 
on the railroad which ran to Craiova 
and then to Bucharest. By the last 
week in October Von Falkenhayn had 
reached Azuga, which was only 7 miles 
from Sinaia and almost on the border 
of the Rumanian oil fields. He also 



threatened to envelop the Rumanian 
army which still held Orsova. The Rus- 
sians and Rumanians now made a 
strenuous effort to stop Von Falken- 
hayn's advance. They started an of- 
fensive on the Moldavian frontier, 
which while it lacked power at least 
held open the rail communication with 
Russia. In the region around Kimpo- 
lung and south of the Vulcan Pass the 
Rumanians not only checked the Ger- 
mans but succeeded in pushing them 
back. By the end of October they had 
forced them back to the frontier in the 
neighborhood of the Szurduk Pass. 

The trench warfare which existed in 
the southern sector was broken by Von 
Mackensen in the third week of Octo- 
ber. On the 23d of this month he took 
Constanza and two days later the very 
important city of Cernavoda. This was 
the Danube bridgehead which controlled 
the railway to Bucharest. Constanza 
was the port of entry for Russian 
troops and supplies, sent to assist Ru- 
mania. Besides this Constanza was the 
largest seaport Rumania had and was 
the base of its Black Sea fleet. At 
Cernavoda the railway from Constanza 
to Bucharest crosses the Danube. This 
bridge is of immense size, being 11 
miles long. The other side of it from 
Cernavoda crosses great swamp lands. 
The Germans did not immediatel}' at- 
tempt to cross this bridge and pursue 
the Rumanians towards Bucharest. In- 
stead they followed up the coast line of 
the Black Sea. On October 27 Mack- 
ensen seized the city of Hirsova. He 
had an opportunity to cross the Danube 
here by pontoon bridges, since the 
ground was not so marshy as it was 
in the vicinity of Cernavoda. By this 
time the flight of the Slavic allies was 
precipitous and they did not attempt 
to hold any defensive positions. By the 
end of October Mackensen had estab- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



163 



lished his line well north of the Con- 
stanza-Cernavoda railway. An at- 
tempted Rumanian offensive through 
Bulgaria in order to attack Macken- 
sen's rear failed and the Rumanians 
were forced to retire to their own terri- 
tory. 

In the early part of the month of 
November the Russians and Rumanians 
made strenuous and for a time suc- 
cessful efforts to stem the tide of Ger- 
man invasion. Their main aim was to 
save the Cernavoda bridge. When they 
retreated across this bridge they had 
destroyed only a few spans of it and evi- 
dently they were easily replaced by the 
Germans. In the north the Slavs were 
also temporarily successful, but were 
unable to withstand the Teuton push. 

Von Falkenhayn's troops were push- 
ing south through the Predeal, Vulcan, 
and Rothenthurm passes and were ad- 
vancing down the Alt and Jiu valleys. 
They captured Tirgujiul and Liresht 
and then swept across the plains of 
Wallachia. A simultaneous movement 
was started in the extreme western part 
of Rumania near the Iron Gate. The 
object of these two drives was to cap- 
ture Craiova, the capital city of west- 
ern Wallachia. After administering a 
severe defeat to the Rumanian army, 
Von Falkenhayn took this place on No- 
vember 20. He immediately fortified it 
strongly in order to have a base of at- 
tack on Bucharest. The Rumanians 
made preparations to hold the Alt val- 
ley as a defensive line. Mackensen's ac- 
tivities in the south, however, prevented 
this. 

He forced the crossing of the Danube 
at Zimnica, a spot where the river is 
both wide and deep. This threatened to 
cut the Rumanian line of communica- 
tions and as a result the Alt river line 
was abandoned. The Vedea river was 
next chosen as a defensive line, but this 



also had to be abandoned because the 
Germans crossed the Danube at another 
point and cut the railroad which sup- 
plied the Vedea line. The Rumanians 
again started their retreat towards Bu- 
charest. At each of the small streams 
the Germans had to cross, however, 
their defense stiffened, but never suffi- 
ciently to stop the invading forces. By 
the end of November the Germans had 
reached the Arges river, the last river 
of any size between them and Bucharest. 
The fall of the capital was now almost 
a certainty and the Rumanian govern- 
ment was moved to Jassy on the 29th. 

The attack on the capital city was 
made from the north and south. The 
real danger to the city was from the 
north. The Rumanians made their last 
stand on the Averescu. The Germans, 
however, swept down from south of 
Kronstadt and crossed this stream 
themselves and after several victories 
captured Bucharest on December 7. 
On the same day Ploesci, in the centre 
of the oil district, fell. The Germans 
then drove the fleeing Rumanians across 
the Jalonitz river and captured Mizil 
on the 12th and Buzeu on the 15th. The 
Slavic allies retired to the Rimnik- 
Sarat river, which they managed to 
hold for five days. This enabled them 
to remove their supplies to Braila. The 
Germans forced the passage of the river 
on the 27th and pushed the enemy into 
Braila. 

The Russo-Rumanians made a strong 
stand at the Matchin bridgehead, on the 
Danube. This really controlled the way 
to Braila. Nevertheless, in the face of 
a heavy artillery bombardment they 
were forced to retire from the bridge- 
head on January S, 1917. This cleared 
the Dobrudja of Russians and Ruman- 
ians with the exception of a small neck 
of land which extended towards Galatz. 
On January 5, Braila, Rumania's chief 



164 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



commercial city, fell into the hands of 
the Germans. The Slavic allies were 
now completely driven out of the Dob- 
rudja. The Russians were forced to 
cross to the north bank of the Sereth. 
Fokshani fell on the 8th. A new line, 
formed on the Putna, had to be aban- 
doned on the 10th. Vadeni, 6 miles 
from Galatz, was captured on the 14th, 
but was recaptured on the 17th. Bitter 
fighting ensued until August, 1917, 
when the German drive was stopped. 
The line ran south of Galatz, then 
northwest along the Hungarian border 
to the Pruth, east of Czernowitz. The 
Teutons held all Rumania excepting 
part of Moldavia. Exposures made by 
the Russian revolutionists showed that 
Rumania was betrayed by Sturmer, the 
Russian Premier. The promised Rus- 
sian protection on its flank had been 
withheld. The Rumanians entered an 
armistice with the Teutons in Decem- 
ber, 1917. See Eastern Theatre. 

Treaty of Bucharest. — The complete 
collapse of Russia and the inactivity 
of the allied army at Saloniki left Ru- 
mania isolated. The Rumanian gov- 
ernment was loath to enter into any 
peace negotiations, but two ultimatums 
were received from General Mackensen, 
the German Field Marshal, which stated 
that unless Rumania entered into peace 
negotiations, she would be overrun by 
the German army and completely de- 
stroyed as a state. Accepting the in- 
evitable, Rumania entered into negotia- 
tions and was compelled to accept a 
humiliating peace. Some of the more 
important terms were as follows : The 
Dobrudja as far as the Danube was to 
be ceded to the Central Powers ; recti- 
fications of the boundary line between 
Rumania and Austria-Hungary were to 
be permitted and recognized by Ru- 
mania ; the port of Constanza to be 
used by the Central Powers as a base 



for Black Sea trade; the Rumanian 
army to be demobilized under the 
supervision of Field Marshal von Mack- 
ensen ; Rumanian troops to evacuate all 
Austro-Hungarian territory occupied 
by them ; Teutonic troops to be permit- 
ted to cross Rumania in order to get 
to Odessa ; Allied officers in Rumanian 
service to be dismissed at once; eco- 
nomic advantages, such as the control 
of railways, wheat crops, and petro- 
leum wells, to be granted to the Central 
Powers for an indefinite period of time. 

V. Southeastern Theatre. The stra- 
tegic importance of Turkey from the 
Germanic point of view lay in keeping 
supplies from Russia through control 
of the Dardanelles. Turkish military 
activity manifested itself on five dis- 
tinct stages. 1. Caucasus, (a) Turk- 
ish thrust against Russia (1914-15); 
(6) Russian campaign (1916) forcing 
Turkish armies behind Trebizond, Er- 
zerum, and Bitlis line to the west, and 
threatening Bagdad to the south. 2. 
Gallipoli campaign by Franco-British 
forces. 3. Turkish attack on Suez 
Canal. 4. British advance on Mesopo- 
tamia. 5. Collapse of Turkey. 

Turkey, Caucasus, Egypt. — War 
was declared between Russia and Tur- 
key on October 30, 1914, and between 
England (and France) and Turkey on 
November 5, 1914. But at the end of 
July, 1914, Turkey had already begun 
to mobilize; by the end of October it 
was estimated that she had some 500,- 
000 men in her army with 250,000 more 
at the depots. 

These troops were concentrated in 
three principal groups ; near Constan- 
tinople and in Asia Minor, in the Cau- 
casus, and in Syria. The Turks under 
Enver Pasha, at once opened a winter 
campaign in the Caucasus. Here, in- 
deed, they had been anticipated by the 
Russians, who, crossing the frontier, 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



165 



captured, on November 13, a position 
near Koprukeui and Erzerum. From 
this they were compelled to withdraw, 
but returning to the attack recaptured 
the place November 20. What had been 
intended as a mere demonstration by 
the Russians was converted into a seri- 
ous matter by the initiative and energy 
of the Turks. The Russians would nat- 
urally advance by the Kars-Erzerum 
road. Hence the Turks purposed to 
hold the Russians on this road, while 
making an enveloping movement on the 
left against Kars and the Russian right. 
This plan came near succeeding. The 
Russians were pushed back from Kop- 
rukeui to Khorosan and were driven out 
of Ardahan on January 1. Two Turk- 
ish corps reached Sarikamish, the Rus- 
sian railhead south of Kars, on Decem- 
ber 25. But the weather and the 
season, together with the natural diffi- 
culties of the country, brought the plan 
to naught. One of the two Turkish 
corps was driven back from Sarikamish 
(January 1) and the other dislodged 
on the 3d. Ardahan was recaptured. 
The remaining body at Khorosan sur- 
rendered. Two Russian columns that 
had crossed the Turco-Persian frontier 
reentered Tabriz, which had been occu- 
pied by the Turks early in January, on 
January 30. Relieved from command 
in Europe and sent to the Caucasus, the 
Grand Duke Nicholas inaugurated a 
midwinter campaign, 1915-16, with an 
army estimated at 300,000 men. On 
February 16 he took Erzerum with 13,- 
000 prisoners. The part of the garri- 
son that escaped fled to Trebizond, to 
the Van region and elsewhere, with the 
Russians in pursuit. One column cap- 
tured Bitlis on March 3, and advanced 
south in the direction of Sert. An- 
other column marched on Erzingan. In 
the direction of Trebizond the Turks 
were defeated at Kara Dere, and Trebi- 



zond itself was taken April 20-21. A 
Turkish attempt to turn the Russian 
left in the neighborhood of Trebizond 
was checked, and the Russians contin- 
ued their march westward. Baron von 
der Goltz was in command of the Turk- 
ish troops. Two flying detachments in 
Persia carried on operations, one in the 
Urumiah district, the other from Ker- 
man-Shah, taken by the Russians, 
towards Bagdad. 

Simultaneously with the original 
Caucasian campaign mentioned above 
an expedition under Djemal Pasha was 
undertaken against the Suez Canal. The 
importance of this waterway to the 
Allies is self-evident. In anticipation 
of an attack upon it, troops had been 
collected in Egypt, consisting chiefly of 
East Indians and Colonials, with a few 
Imperial service units. In the canal 
itself several French and English war- 
ships took position to assist in the de- 
fense. Moreover, during the autumn 
and winter the position had been thor- 
oughly strengthened by modern field 
fortifications ; the defenses consisted of 
bridgeheads on the east covered by in- 
trenched positions on the western bank 
at El Kantara, El Ferdan and Ismailia, 
Tussum and Serapeum, Shaluf and 
Kubri. 

Dejemal Pasha formed his forces of 
30,000 men into three columns. The 
northerly one, of about 6000 men of all 
arms, followed the caravan road from 
Rafa to El Kantara ; the southerly, of 
3000, the pilgrim road from Nakhl to 
Suez; the middle column, that from 
Kossaima to Ismailia. This last road 
happened to be practicable at this time 
because a rainfall had filled a pool on 
the line. Pontoon boats accompanied 
the expedition, whose march was well 
organized and well carried out. On 
January 26 the advance guards of the 
south and middle columns were reported 



166 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



near the canal. The Turks were com- 
pletely beaten (February 2-3). The 
main attack (Tussum-Serapeum) was 
made by the middle column ; that of the 
southerly (Suez) was a fiasco; the 
northern made a better though vain ef- 



over 6 miles to a position east of Birs- 
el-Manca. Many guns and 2500 pris- 
oners fell to the victors. In December 
the British captured El Arish and the 
strongly fortified position of Maghda- 
bah. These victories effectively stop- 




Gallipoli Peninsula, Scene of Disastrous Campaign for the 
Control of the Dardanelles 

fort (Kantara); on the night of Feb- ped further threats of raids on the ca- 
ruary 6-7 a general retirement began. 

The next serious threat on the canal 
was made in August, when the Turks 
attacked the British positions at Ro- 
mani. The British gave way before a 
strong frontal and flank attack. Think- 



nal. On January 11, 1917, the British 
took six lines of trenches and 1600 
prisoners at Rafa, on the Sinai penin- 
sula. (See below.) 

Dardanelles. — The Turkish arms 
thus came to grief in both the Caucasus 



ing they were retreating, the Turks and in Egypt. Better fortune waited 

sprang forward in pursuit order, and upon them in the Dardanelles. The 

soon were lost in the dunes. Then the temptation to strike a blow at the vi- 

entire British front attacked and com- tals of Turkey by taking possession of 

pletely routed the Turks, driving them the Dardanelles, and hence of Constan- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



167 



tinople, was irresistible. Success here 
would have met with a rich reward. 
A way would have been opened to 
supply Russia with the war munitions 
she so sorely needed ; the Balkan ques- 
tion would have been settled out 
of hand, and in a manner favorable 
to the Allies. But the entire campaign 
was mismanaged from the outset ; the 
nature of the effort to be made was cer- 
tainly not correctly estimated; efforts 
were scattered, time was lost. 

For the naval campaign, reference 
should be made to the naval subdivision 
of this article. It opened on Novem- 
ber 3, 1914, and it was not until the 
following March that joint land and 
naval operations were decided upon. 
By that time the Turks had received 
ample warning, and here, as elsewhere, 
under German leadership, had made 
what turned out to be more than ample 
preparation. 

In the Gallipoli peninsula nature 
was on the side of the defense. Fur- 
thermore the Turks enjoyed an ad- 
vantage in their supply of men, for the 
bulk of their forces were in the neigh- 
borhood of Constantinople and could 
therefore be drawn on as needed. Gen. 
Sir Ian Hamilton was selected to direct 
land operations for the Allies. These 
were to be carried on by a French force 
under General d'Amade, drawn from 
north Africa, and by Colonials, Terri- 
torials, and some Indians from Egypt 
and Imperial troops. 

On arriving at Tenedos (March 17), 
selected as his headquarters, Sir Ian 
made up his mind that the transports 
had been so badly loaded that he would 
not undertake any operations until the 
loading had been corrected. The trans- 
ports were accordingly sent back to 
Egypt to be reloaded. Upon their re- 
turn, five weeks had been lost to the 
Allies and gained to the Turks. 



The British began their landing on 
April 25. How strong the force of the 
Turks was is not accurately known; it 
must have been well over 100,000. The 
German General Liman von Sanders 
had been appointed commander-in-chief 
of the Turkish forces at the Darda- 
nelles. The chief landings were made at 
the tip of the peninsula. Once ashore, 
the advance was to be made against the 
village of Krithia, and the height of 
Achi Baba was then to be carried. At 
each of the beaches selected, the Turks 
were ready and received the landing 
party with tremendous fire. The Aus- 
tralian and New Zealand corps 
("Anzac") near Gaba Tepe especially 
distinguished themselves by rushing the 
opposing Turks with the bayonet, clear- 
ing the slopes and securing a foothold 
on the top. The French landed a regi- 
ment on the Asiatic side, near Kum 
Kale, for the purpose of preventing an 
attack by gunfire against the trans- 
ports at the nose of the peninsula. In 
this they were more or less successful, 
but at considerable loss to themselves. 
The result of the work of the 24 hours 
was that the Anzacs, isolated, were 
holding a semicircular line against an 
enemy ever increasing in numbers, other 
landings were abandoned, some forces 
were holding their own but isolated, 
while other landing parties had man- 
aged to join hands. The next three or 
four days were marked by severe fight- 
ing and an advance of the British from 
the southern beaches. By the after- 
noon of April 28 some of the troops 
had pushed up to within 1300 yards 
of Krithia, but could get no farther. 
The lines then dug in. On May 1, the 
Turks attacked at night, and there was 
a counterattack the next day. This is 
the first so-called battle of Krithia. The 
second occurred on May 6, and was an 
attempt to win the Krithia ridge ; this 



168 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



attempt failed, but the British ad- 
vanced their lines 500 yards. The third 
came off on June 4, with the same ob- 
jective and the same result. The 
fourth was fought on July 12, and re- 
sulted in an advance of 300 yards more 
or less. Achi Baba still remained in 
Turkish hands. Meanwhile, the Turks 
were attacking the Anzacs (May 5-10) 
and were repulsed. They renewed their 
efforts in great force May 18, and were 
again beaten off with great loss. There 
were other engagements, as that of the 
French (June 21) who captured a work 
known as the Haricot Redoubt, and the 
English action of June 28, known as the 
battle of the Gully Ravine. And so it 
went until fresh British forces were 
landed at Suvla Bay on August 7, and 
the Anzacs advanced upon the ridges 
of Sari Bair. 

But before the landing at Suvla Bay, 
the Allies on July 12 made a fresh at- 
tack in front of Krithia. It resulted in 
the capture of trenches and was fol- 
lowed on the next day by another gen- 
eral attack, resulting in a similar cap- 
ture. But no really significant success 
was obtained. 

The Suvla Bay landing and simul- 
taneous operations at the tip of the 
peninsula and by the Anzacs consti- 
tute the last great attempt to drive the 
Turks off the peninsula. Sir Ian Ham- 
ilton in May had asked for two addi- 
tional corps. By the end of July he 
got them. His plan was now to re- 
enforce the Anzacs and direct them to 
make a drive to capture Sari Bair. A 
landing at Suvla Bay would surprise 
the Turks, and might enable the Anzacs 
after taking Sari Bair to push on to 
Maidos. The Turks at Krithia and on 
Achi Baba would thus be cut off. A 
containing attack was to be made at 
the tip of the peninsula. This attack 
was delivered on August 5 and failed. 



It was renewed on the 7th and resulted 
in minor local successes ; its main pur- 
pose of keeping the Turks busy on the 
spot, and then preventing them from 
lending a hand elsewhere, may be said 
to have been realized. The Anzacs, re- 
enforced, attacked on the 6th, and very 
nearly succeeded in their purpose ; but 
on the 9th an assaulting column lost its 
way, and so arrived too late to clinch 
the positive gains already made on the 
spur to the southwest of the main ele- 
vation (Hill 305) of the Turkish posi- 
tion. During the attack on Sari Bair 
the landing at Suvla Bay was begun 
August 6 by night under the direction 
of Lieut. General Sir F. Stopford. It 
resulted in failure, for although the 
troops got ashore, yet once there they 
accomplished nothing. Apparently 
there was no well-thought-out plan of 
operations, or, if there was, it was not 
carried out. Some of the troop units 
were landed at places other than those 
designated, others were late in moving 
out. Some local successes were obtain- 
ed, however, and on the evening of Au- 
gust 7 the British extended in a semi- 
circle around the bay. On the 8th the 
British stood fast and made no attempt 
to advance, and so lost their opportun- 
ity not merely to accomplish something 
on their own account, but to help their 
comrades farther south engaged in the 
desperate struggle of Sari Bair. The 
enemy were fewer in numbers than the 
British and were not in heart. The re- 
sponsibility for the inaction of the 8th 
must rest with General Stopford, but 
Sir Ian Hamilton must come in for 
some part of the blame. There was 
more or less fighting during the next 
week; on the 15th General Stopford 
turned over the command of his troops 
to General de Lisle. Open fighting gave 
way to trench work. There was one 
more battle on August 21, when an at- 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



169 



tempt was made to take Hill 100, about 
two miles east of Suvla Bay. Sir Ian 
Hamilton was recalled in October, and 
the whole peninsula evacuated in De- 
cember and January. 

Mesopotamia. — The long-standing 
conflict between British and German in- 
terests in the Persian Gulf cannot be 
said to have had any immediate military 
bearing on the decision of the British 
government to open a campaign in the 
Mesopotamia. British interests, how- 
ever, called for protection, and in par- 
ticular the plant of the Anglo-Persian 
Oil Company on Abadan Island, with its 
150-mile long pipe line, and the oil fields 
at Ahwaz on the Karun River. This 
plant, intended to furnish fuel oil for 
the royal navy, was an enterprise in 
which the government was financially 
interested. Moreover, a successful cam- 
paign in the great valley would hurt 
Turkey's standing in the Mohammedan 
world, and from purely a military point 
of view would prove of assistance to the 
Allies. A small force had been sent 
to the Gulf before the outbreak of hos- 
tilities. On November 7 it reached the 
mouth of the river and took a small 
village, Fao by name, three miles up. 
Thence the expedition moved up river 
to Abadan, for the protection of the 
works already mentioned, and Novem- 
ber 11 had a brush with the Turks on 
the Turkish side of the river at Saniyeh. 
Reenf or cements joined this column on 
the 15th, and the combined forces, after 
some minor engagements, on November 
23 entered Basra after its evacuation 
by the Turks ; and on December 9, after 
getting into the rear of Kurna, received 
the surrender of its garrison, 50 miles 
up river. The British now took up an 
intrenched position, and might have 
been content merely to hold the road 
down to the sea if it had not been for a 
Turkish counteroffensive in April, 1915. 



Early in January of 1915 the Turks 
were found to be holding a strong posi- 
tion north of Mezera. An expedition 
drove them out of their lines. They 
next appeared at Ahwaz up the Karun 
River. A reconnaissance showed them 
to be in strength, and it was evident 
that they were contemplating an at- 
tack on the main British position. This 
attack occurred April 11-12 at Kurna 
itself, Ahwaz, and Shaiba. The action 
at Shaiba lasted three days and resulted 
in a serious Turkish defeat. During 
May but little happened, but on May 
31 the British moved out and proceeded 
up as far as 75 miles from Kurna. From 
Amara a road runs to Ahwaz, the con- 
trol of which assured the security of 
the oil region. The Turks had in the 
meantime withdrawn to Kut-el-Amara, 
150 miles up the Tigris. 

On May 31 a Turkish force north 
of Kurna was dispersed; on June 3 
Amara was occupied. The Turks with- 
drew to Kut-el-Amara. From the Tig- 
ris at this point a cross river runs al- 
most due south to join the Euphrates 
at Nasiriyeh. Unless this cross river 
were in British control the Turks could 
use it to menace the British left. Hence 
a force was sent against Nasiriyeh and 
on July 24 captured the place, the 
Turks retreating toward Kut. Early 
in August General Townshend went up 
the river marching on Kut, and on Sep- 
tember 25 contact was made. A battle 
was fought on the next two days, and 
at dawn on the 29th it was discovered 
that the Turks had evacuated the posi- 
tion of Kut-el-Amara and retreated on 
Bagdad. They were pursued and con- 
siderable loss inflicted on them. By 
September 30 General Townshend was 
within 100 miles of Bagdad by road and 
200 by river. He continued his march, 
and at Ctesiphon, about 30 miles down 
river from Bagdad, fought, November 



170 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



22-25, an indecisive battle against su- 
perior numbers. At first victorious, he 
was compelled in consequence of Iris lack 
of reserves and his shortage of am- 
munition to fall back in the face of 
Turkish reinforcements. He retreated 
to Kut after having lost about one- 
fourth of his total 20,000 men. Here 
he intrenched and was besieged by the 
Turks. 

All attempts to succor him having 
failed, and his supplies being exhausted, 
General Townshend on April 30 was 
compelled to surrender to the Turks, 
after a gallant defense protracted for 
143 days. This surrender simply meant 
that the ill-advised expedition against 
Bagdad had failed; it was still the 
fact that the original purpose of the 
Mesopotamian campaign had been ful- 
filled. General Aylmer's relief expedi- 
tion, setting out January 6, 1916, after 
defeating the Turks in two battles, man- 
aged, January 21, to reach a point only 
eight miles from Kut-el-Amara. But 
floods now came to the Turkish rescue 
and Aylmer was forced to fall back. 
He set out again in February, better 
equipped with boats, and after meeting 
with a reverse at Felahie defeated the 
Turks at Umm-el-Heuna, April 5 ; the 
next day the capture of Felahie was an- 
nounced. He was now within 23 miles 
of Kut ; but the Turks in the meantime 
had occupied strongly intrenched posts 
to dispute any further advance, imped- 
ed as before by floods. Much fighting 
took place, and although some ground 
was gained the relief force was unable 
to gain any decisive success. General 
Aylmer's forces continued to hold their 
lines in the neighborhood of Kut dur- 
ing most of 1916. In December, 1916, 
and January, 1917, there were several 
engagements of a local character in the 
neighborhood of Kut-el-Amara. 

In February, 1917, the Mesopota- 



mian campaign again began to assume 
importance. As a result of local en- 
gagements and manceuvering for po- 
sition the British by the middle of Feb- 
ruary had established their line on both 
banks of the Tigris, Avhere it formed a 
bend west of Kut-el-Amara, and conse- 
quently hemmed in the Turks in this 
town. On February 23 bodies of Brit- 
ish troops were ferried across the Tigris 
under the protection of artillery and 
machine-gun fire. These troops cleared 
the opposite bank sufficiently to enable 
General Maude to erect a pontoon 
bridge. By the next day part of the 
Shamrun peninsula and Sanna-i-yat 
were seized. The taking of these im- 
portant positions compelled the Turks 
to abandon Kut-el-Amara and to re- 
treat toward Baghela, 24 miles up the 
river. 

The British cavalry followed the flee- 
ing Turks on their right, the infantry 
their centre and gunboats on the Tigris 
their left. The last-mentioned forces 
caused considerable havoc among the 
Turks, by getting ahead of them and 
firing upon them as they advanced. The 
British left wing under Sir Percy Lake, 
crossed the Tigris below its junction 
with the Diala and marched on Bag- 
dad, 20 miles away. On March 10, an 
attack on Bagdad from both sides of 
the river drove the Turks back on the 
city itself. During the night the Turks 
evacuated the city and left the British 
artillery captured at Kut-el-Amara and 
the greater part of their own. The 
fall of Bagdad was not of great strate- 
gic importance but had a great moral 
effect throughout the world. Besides 
that the entire cultivated lands of Baby- 
lonia fell into the hands of the British. 
A Russian offensive drove the Turks 
from Hamadan and gave promise of a 
Russian-British advance which would 
completely occupy Turkey in Asia. The 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



171 



Russian revolution upset these plans 
and enabled the Turks to withdraw 
troops from the Armenian front to 
stem the British advance. During June 
and July the Turks drove the Rus- 
sians across the border into Persia and 
left the British left wing in a very 
exposed position. 

After the fall of Bagdad the Turks 
retreated up the Tigris toward Mosul 
and up the Euphrates toward Aleppo. 
The main body took the first route with 
the idea of holding the headwaters of 
the Diala until they could rescue their 
army which was practically lost in Per- 
sia as a result of renewed Russian ac- 
tivities. The latter had crossed the 
border of Persia again and had joined 
with the British outposts. General 
Maude seized Feluja on the Euphrates 
with the general purpose of ascending 
that river and capturing El Deir which 
was the key to the crossroads leading to 
Damascus, Aleppo, and Mosul. The 
plan was to have the centre advance on 
Mosul, the right wing to clear the cara- 
van route into Persia and the left wing 
to secure El Deir. The first step ac- 
complished in this advance was the cap- 
ture of Samara on April 23. This put 
the Samara-Bagdad railroad in the 
hands of the British and facilitated the 
bringing of supplies from the latter 
city. The British right flank was left 
in an exposed position again by the 
complete downfall of the Russian armies 
and the reoccupation of Khanikan by 
the Turks (July) on the Persian bor- 
der. This town controls the caravan 
route from Bagdad to Kermansha. 

A word or two should be mentioned 
here of the revolt in the Hejaz, which 
declared its independence under the 
leadership of the Grand Sherif of Mec- 
ca, Hujayn Ibn Aly, who took the title 
of King. This revolt was engineered 
by the Entente allies and won over the 



orthodox Arabs and the Syrians op- 
posed to Turkish rule. Arms and am- 
munition of the latest type were sup- 
plied to the revolutionists and they took 
several Turkish towns and seriously 
hampered the Syrian railway system of 
the Turks. 

When fighting could be resumed, aft- 
er the heat of the summer, the British 
on September 30 captured Ramadie on 
the Euphrates and the entire army of 
Ahmed Bey. This followed the brilliant 
storming of Mushaid Ridge on the pre- 
vious day. On October 5, the Russians 
took by assault Nereman, 50 miles 
north of Mosul which was now seri- 
ously menaced. The British were with- 
in 100 miles of it on the south. They 
advanced still further when they took 
Tekrit 15 miles north of Samara. Op- 
erations halted here again for a long 
time because of the final collapse of the 
Russian forces with the consequent ex- 
posure of the British right wing. Gen- 
eral von Falkenhayn, who had won such 
a great reputation for himself as Chief 
of Staff in Germany and as a command- 
ing General in the Rumanian campaign, 
was now sent to Asia Minor to com- 
mand the Turkish forces and spent the 
rest of 1917 building up the Turkish 
forces at Aleppo. He succeeded Gen- 
eral von der Goltz, who had been assas- 
sinated. 

The 1917 Campaign in Palestine. — 
As was stated above (section Turkey, 
Caucasus, Egypt) the British began an 
advance on Rafa on the Sinai peninsula 
in January, 1917. This town fell early 
in February and the British advanced 
northward toward Gaza and eastward 
toward Beersheba. They were com- 
pelled to spend the summer on the Gaza 
river after failing to take these places. 
In October they started forward again 
and by January, 1918, had won a series 
of brilliant successes. On October 31, 



172 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Beersheba was taken in a sudden as- 
sault and on November 6 Gaza fell. 
By November 15, General Allenby * had 
cut the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway at 
Ludd and Er Ramie. Two days later 
Jaffa, the port of Jerusalem, was oc- 
cupied. The British advanced down 
the Surar River valley toward the Holy 
City and up the Damascus-Beersheba 
railway in order to encircle the city and 
cut off its supplies, so that it would not 
come under the bombardment of the ar- 
tillery. All the towns surrounding the 
city were gradually taken by storm 
and as the British closed in it became 
apparent that the Turks would not risk 
a siege. The city fell on December 10. 
There was general rejoicing throughout 
the world over the return of the city to 
Christian hands after having been in 
Turkish hands for almost seven cen- 
turies. The Turks west and northwest 
of the city broke up into small bands 
and carried on guerilla warfare until 
the British finally got control of all the 
high land. General Allenby then 
pushed across a small stream 4 miles 
north of Jaffa and captured several 
small towns which gave him all the 
high land in the neighborhood, and as- 
sured a good defense of the Jaffa-Jeru- 
salem railroad. 

The success of the British arms in 
Palestine effectively put an end to 
Turkish threats on the Suez Canal and 
Egypt which had been going on for 
three years. It also revived the hopes 
of the Zionists, who dreamed of a re- 
establishment of the Jewish nation in 
Palestine. The British government an- 

* Allenby, Sir Edmund Henry Hynman. 
Born 1861. Served in Bechuanaland Expedi- 
tion, 1884-85. With British forces in Zululand 
in 1888. Took part in South African War with 
distinction. Skill contributed largely to vic- 
tories of Somme and Aisne. In June, 1917, put 
in command of expedition to Palestine. Cap- 
tured Jerusalem December 10, 1917, and en- 
tered on December 11. 



nounced on several occasions that it 
looked with favor on the Zionist move- 
ment. 

The Collapse of Turkey {October). 
— Turkey was the second member of the 
Central Powers alliance to surrender to 
Allied arms. This was a direct result 
of a crushing defeat administered by 
General Allenby. As was narrated 
above, Jerusalem was captured by Gen- 
eral Allenby in December, 1917. Be- 
tween that time and September, 1918, 
the British commander was making 
preparations for his attack on a grand 
scale. His first object was to secure his 
right flank by the capture of Jericho 
and the line of the Jordan. This opera- 
tion was carried out in February, and 
was highly successful, the two objectives 
having been taken shortly after the 
middle of the month. During March 
General Allenby was engaged in gaining 
a line which would enable him to carry 
out operations east of the Jordan and 
against the Hedjah railway, in coopera- 
tion with the Arab forces under the 
Emir Faisal. These were southeast of 
the Dead Sea and were under the com- 
mand of Allenby. Rainy weather and 
the raising of the level of the Jordan 
river prevented General Allenby from 
making any advance across that river. 
He made several raids which materially 
hindered the Turkish forces. His fur- 
ther progress was also held up by the 
difficulties of the Allies in France. He 
reported that in April the 52nd and 
74th divisions, nine yeomanry regi- 
ments, five and a half siege batteries, 
ten British battalions, and five machine 
gun companies were withdrawn prepar- 
atory to embark for France. In May 
11 more battalions were sent to Europe. 
During July and August 10 more Brit- 
ish battalions were withdrawn from the 
fighting in the eastern area. While it 
is true chat most of these units were 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



173 



replaced by Indian forces, nevertheless 
his actual fighting force was so reduced 
that he was unable to continue the ad- 
vance against the Turkish troops un- 
til the following September. During 
the hot summer months the only fight- 
ing of any note was an attack deliv- 
ered by Turkish-German forces on July 
14. It gained initial successes by tak- 
ing Abu Tellul, an important height, 
and surrounded several other advanced 
positions. These gains were almost im- 
mediately lost again as a result of a 
brilliant counterattack by Australian 
forces. 

On September 18, the British and the 
Arabs began an advance in Mesopo- 
tamia and Palestine which was ulti- 
mately to result in the surrender of 
Turkey and settle once and for all the 
Berlin to Bagdad route which had al- 
ready been broken by the collapse of 
Bulgaria. Allenby made minute prep- 
arations for his blow and completely 
fooled the Turks as to his intentions. 
The British, with some French forces 
in support, struck on a 16-mile front 
and broke through the Turkish lines 
between Fafat and the sea and advanced 
13 miles. By the 22d, enemy resist- 
ance between the Mediterranean and 
the Jordan river had practically brok- 
en down completely and the Allies were 
forging ahead rapidly. In 4 days they 
had advanced approximately 60 miles 
and had occupied Beisan, Nazareth, 
and El Afule. Arab forces east of the 
Jordan destroyed railroads and bridges 
crossing the stream and thus forced 
the Turks to retreat in a northerly di- 
rection only. Haifa and Acre were 
seized on the 23d and the Turks east of 
the Jordan were forced to retreat 
southerly in the direction of Amman. 
Three days later saw the British at the 
Sea of Galilee and the occupation of 
Tiberias, Semakh, Es-Samra, and Am- 



man. On the 27th the British forces 
joined with the Arabs east of the Jor- 
dan at Mezeris. The advance was now 
a steady pursuit, without any frontal 
fighting on the part of the Turks. Da- 
mascus fell on the 1st of October, 
Zahich and Rayak on the 6th, and Tri- 
poli and Horns on the 16th. In the first 
three weeks of the campaign more than 
80,000 prisoners and 350 guns fell into 
the hands of the British and Arabs. 

The last half of October saw the cap- 
ture of Aleppo and the complete defeat 
of the Turkish troops along the Tigris 
by British forces under General Mar- 
shall. This last event was accomplish- 
ed by the capture of Kaleh Sherghat, 
which completely cut off communication 
with Mosul, which with Aleppo, was the 
main base of supplies of the Turkish- 
German forces in Asia Minor. 

Facing a supreme disaster, the Turks 
sued for an armistice. They sent the 
British General, Townshend, who had 
been captured at Kut-el-Amara, to the 
Allied commander of the iEgean fleet. 
Vice Admiral Calthorp, to ask for 
terms. He asked for regularly accred- 
ited agents to carry on the negotiations. 
These were sent to the island of Lemnos, 
and after a 3-day session, terms were 
handed to the Turks which they ac- 
cepted on October 30, and which went 
into effect the next day. A summary of 
these terms, which practically amounted 
to unconditional surrender, follows : 

The Dardanelles, Bosphorus, and 
Black Sea were to be opened to the Al- 
lies. 

The location of all mine fields, etc., 
were to be disclosed. 

Allied prisoners of war were to be 
given up. 

Immediate demobilization of the 
Turkish army. 

Surrender of all Turkish warships, 
and use of mercantile vessels. 



174 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Allied occupation of any strategical 
points in Turkey desired by them. 

Immediate withdrawal of Turkish 
forces from Persia. 

Transcaucasia to be evacuated if Al- 
lies desire. 

Wireless, telegraph, and cable sys- 
tems to be controlled by the Allies. 

Allies to be permitted to purchase 
supplies of all kinds. 

The surrender of all garrisons in 
Asia Minor and Turkish Africa. 

All Germans and Austrians to get 
out of Turkey within a month and Tur- 
key was to break off all relations with 
them. 

Colonies. Africa. — As early as Au- 
gust 7 the British Imperial government 
telegraphed the South African govern- 
ment to suggest the desirability of seiz- 
ing such parts of German Southwest 
Africa, "as would give them the com- 
mand of Swakopmund, Luderitzbucht, 
and the wireless stations there or in the 
interior." But before operations could 
be carried on against German territory 
the local government found itself face 
to face with a rebellion in sympathy 
with, if not inspired by, Germany, and 
having for its end the establishment of 
independence. Maritz, one of its lead- 
ers, was, on October 26, completely de- 
feated by loyalist troops under the di- 
rection of General Smuts, so that the 
rebellion came to an end in those parts. 
A more serious situation existed in the 
Union itself. But here too the loyalists 
prevailed. On October 27 General 
Botha took the field against General 
Beyers, the leader of the rebels, defeated 
him at Commissie Drift, and scattered 
his troops. On November 12 Botha 
routed De Wet at Mushroom Valley. A 
fugitive, De Wet was taken prisoner 
on December 1. Beyers, who in the 
meantime had collected another force, 
was again beaten December 7 and in 



escaping was drowned while trying to 
swim his horse across the Vail River. 
His death and De Wet's capture ended 
the rebellion, though small parties kept 
the field for some time afterward. 

Togoland was taken in a campaign 
that lasted just three weeks, from Au- 
gust 7 to August 28, 1915. Surround- 
ed on three sides by hostile territory, 
with the sea under British control, it 
could not hope to offer any resistance. 
The allied base was the littoral; minor 
expeditions entered the country from 
the north, the east, and the west. The 
capital of the colony, Lome, fell on the 
sixth. The campaign thereafter had 
for its objective the powerful wireless 
station at Kamina, 125 miles from the 
coast. This point was entered, after 
some fighting by the Allies, on the 27th, 
and the colony was surrendered by its 
Governor. The German forces could 
not have exceeded 1000, mostly natives. 

Kamerun called for a more serious 
effort on the part of the Allies. Like 
Togoland, it was surrounded on all 
sides by hostile territory, with the sea 
under Allied control. But its vastly 
greater area made operations more dif- 
ficult and it was more strongly defend- 
ed. Three expeditions from the north- 
west were defeated by the Germans in 
August and September, 1915. Attack- 
ing from the sea, however, the Allies 
took Duala (September 27) and from 
this point widened their holding. Early 
in October it was clear that the colony 
would be lost. Two columns pushed 
their way into the interior along the 
railways, one of which on October 26 
took Edea, repelling six weeks later a 
counterattack for its recovery. The 
other column north of Duala captured 
the entire railway and advanced be- 
yond its head. The French sent down 
troops from the Tchad, and others re- 
enforced by Belgians from Equatoria. 



MILITARY OPERATIONS 



175 



The result of all these efforts was that 
German resistance was well worn down, 
and came to an end with the surrender 
of Mora Hill early in 1916. 

The situation in German Southwest 
Africa was complicated by the South 
African rebellion. This rebellion 
crushed, real operations began in Janu- 
ary, Luderitz Bay having been occu- 
pied as early as September 18, 1914. 
Swakopmund was occupied January 14. 
The campaign was directed against the 
capital Windhoek and carried on by 
two armies ; the northern under Botha 
was to move from Swakopmund ; while 
the southern under Smuts, divided into 
three columns, was to move east from 
Luderitz Bay, north from Warmbad, 
and west from Bechuanaland. By May 
1, the end was near. On the 12th, 
Botha entered Windhoek and the strug- 
gle was practically over; for pushing 
on to Grootfontein, now the German 
capital, he there, on July 9, received 
the surrender of the enemy forces. 

The most important colony in Africa, 
German East Africa, gave the British 
far more trouble than any of the others. 
Here the Germans disposed of some 
8000 men, though all reports as to 
forces in the colonies are subject to cau- 
tion, and the British forces at the be- 
ginning were insignificant, say 1200. 
During August, 1914, some successes 
fell to the British. For example, they 
demolished, August 13, the port of Dar- 
es-Salaam. On September 3, British re- 
enforcements arrived in time to check 
German operations against the Uganda 
railway. September was taken up by 
German attacks without any special re- 
sult. The British remained on the de- 
fensive, waiting for troops from India. 
These arrived November 1, and lay off 
the German port of Tanga. An attack 
made on the 4th resulted in a decided 
reverse for the British, who were com- 



pelled to reembark. The Germans now 
invaded British East Africa, but were 
pushed back to Jassin in German ter- 
ritory, where on January 18 they de- 
feated the British, and forced a with- 
drawal of all the outlying posts in this 
region. They had, as early as Sep- 
tember, 1914, invaded northeast Rho- 
desia, where they came into contact 
with Belgian troops. April, 1915, was 
spent in skirmishing. In July, 1915, 
the Konigsberg was destroyed. This 
vessel, after doing much mischief, had 
been chased by British cruisers and had 
taken refuge (November, 1914) in the 
Rufiji River. Her guns, however, were 
removed and used in the defenses of Ta- 
bora, on the main east and west line of 
the colony. General Smith-Dorrien, 
later relieved by General Smuts, was 
sent out to take command of the troops 
in British East Africa and the invasion 
proceeded from that region, as well as 
from Nyassa on the south. 

The British expedition commanded 
by General Jan Smuts won an impor- 
tant victory at the Kitovo Hills, near 
the northern boundary of German East 
Africa. After five days of fighting 
(March 7-12) the Germans fell back to 
a position in the forest along the Rufu 
River. As a result of the operations 
that followed, the Germans, although 
reenforced, were compelled to abandon 
their positions and retire southward 
along the Tanga railway. 

The Allies began in September to 
tighten the ring around the colony. 
The Belgians, French, British, and Por- 
tuguese were invading it from all sides. 
All of the seaports were in their hands 
and Tabora, a strong fortress in the 
north, was captured (September 1-11), 
by the Belgians. Progress was slow but 
in December, 1917, its probable com- 
plete occupation was announced. 

General von Lettow-Vorbeck, the 



176 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



German commander who had held out 
against the Allies for such a long time, 
finally surrendered to the Allies on No- 
vember 14, 1918, three days after the 
signing of the armistice. During No- 
vember, 1917, one German force oper- 
ating in German East Africa was cap- 
tured and the other (the only remain- 
ing one) escaped into Portuguese East 
Africa. It was chased southward al- 
most as far as the Zambesi River 
through almost impassable country. 
Turning around, von Lettow-Vorbeck 
took another route and again reached 
German East Africa in September, 
1918. He was quickly compelled to re- 
treat again and this time he marched 
into northern Rhodesia, where he sur- 
rendered just south of Kasama. 

The Pacific. — Japan, as Great Brit- 
ain's ally, declared war on German}' 
August 23, 1914, but confined her of- 
fensive to Germany's possessions in the 
Pacific. On August 27, she began the 
blockade of Tsingtao, and by the end of 



September, two Japanese armies and a 
few English troops had completed land- 
ing, one on the north, the other with the 
English at Rozan Bay. The German 
defenses consisted of three lines, the 
first of fortified hills, the second of 10 
forts, the third of five. By September 
28, the first two lines had been carried, 
and the siege was begun. October 31 a 
general attack was opened on the third 
line which was occupied November 6. 
The next day the place was surrendered 
with 201 officers and 3841 non-commis- 
sioned officers and men. The Japanese 
land forces engaged in the siege num- 
bered 22,980 officers and men, with 142 
guns. The British forces were far less 
numerous, 920 European troops and 
450 Sikhs. The British casualties were 
insignificant, 12 killed and 62 wounded ; 
the Japanese relatively very little 
greater, 236 killed and 1282 wounded. 
For the capture of other German is- 
lands in the Pacific see the section on 
Naval, Operations. 



V. NAVAL OPERATIONS 



At the outbreak of the war the bel- 
ligerent navies were constituted as 
shown in the subjoined tables. For 
the sake of space and conciseness, cer- 
tain methods of lettering and abbrevia- 
tion are used in the tables and through- 
out the article, viz. : 

Abbreviations: a.c, armored cruiser; a.c.d., 
armored coast-defense vessel; b.c, battle 
cruiser; b.s., battleship; c, cruiser (not ar- 
mored); des., destroyer; Div., division (of a 
fleet or squadron); g.b., gunboat; Sq., squad- 
ron; sub., submarine; t.b., torpedo boat. 

EXAMPLES AND EXPLANATIONS 

First example: b.s. Ihon Duke (25d-10gl3.5- 
22k). 

Explanation: b.s. stands for battleship; small 
capitals indicate that the vessel is of the dread- 
nought type; 25d means 25,000 tons' displace- 
ment; 10gl3.5, that the main battery consists 
of 10 guns of 13.5-inch calibre; 22k, that the 
maximum speed is 22 knots. 

Second example: des. Ferret (0.75d-2g4, 2g3- 
27k), Hind (same), Hydra (same). 

Explanation: this means that the destroyer 
Ferret has a displacement of 750 (0.75x1000) 
tons, carries a main battery of two 4-inch and 
two 3-inch guns, and has a maximum speed of 
27 knots; and that the Hind and Hydra are the 
same as the Ferret in all respects. 

Forces in the North Sea and Adjacent 
Waters 

GREAT BRITAIN 

First Fleet (Admiral J. R. Jellicoe, com- 
manding) 

Flagship, b.s. Iron Duke (25d-10gl3.5-22k) ; 
tenders, c. Sappho (3.4d-2g6,6g4.7-20k), 
des. Oak (0.8-2g4,2g3-32k) ; repair 
ships, Cyclops (lld-13k), Assistance 
(10d-13k). 

1st Battle Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Marlborough 
(25d-10gl3.5-22k), St. Vincent (19d- 
10gl2-21k), Colossus (20d-10gl2-21k), 
Hercules (same). 
2d Div.: b.s. Neptune (19d-10gl2-21k), Su- 
perb (same), Collingwood (same), Van- 
guard (same). 



2d Battle Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. King George V 
(24d-10gl3.5-21k), Ajax (same), Auda- 
cious (same), Orion (23d-10gl3.5-21k). 
2d Div.: b.s. Centurion (24d-10gl3.5-21k), 
Conqueror (23d-10gl3.5-21k), Monarch 
(same), Thunderer (same). 

3d Battle Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. King Edward VII 
(16d-4gl2,4g9.2-19k), Hibernia (same), 
Africa (same), Britannia (same). 
2d Div.: b.s. Commonwealth (16d-4gl2,4g9.2- 
19k), Dominion (same), Hindustan 
(same), Zealandia (same). 

4th Battle Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Dreadnought 
(18d-10gl2-21k), Temeraire (19d-10gl2- 
21k), Bellerophon (same), Agamemnon 
(17d-4gl2, 10g9.2-19k). 
2d Div.: Not organized; ships under con- 
struction. 

Scouts: 1st Sq., c. Bellona (3.3d-6g4-26k) ; 2d 
Sq., c. Boadicea (3.3d-6g4-26k) ; 3d Sq., 
c. Blanche ( 3.4-1 0g4-26 ) ; 4th Sq., c. 
Blonde (3.4-10g4-26k). 

1st Battle Cruiser Sq. : b.c. Lion (26d-8gl3.5- 
28k), Princess Royal (same), Queen 
Mary (27d-8gl3.5-28k), New Zealand 
(19d-8gl2-27k). 

2d Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Shannon (15d-4g9.2, 10g7.5- 
23k), Achilles (14d-6g9.2,4g7.5-23k), 
Cochrane (same), Natal (same). 

3d Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Antrim (Hd-4g7.5,6g6- 
22k), Argyll (same), Devonshire (same), 
Roxburgh (same). 

4th Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Sufolk (10d-14g6-23k), 
Berwick (same), Essex (same), Lancas- 
ter (same). 

1st Light Cruiser Sq. : c. Southampton (5.4d- 
8g6-26k), Birmingham (5.4d-9g6-26k), 
Lowestoft (same), Nottingham (same). 

Destroyer Flotilla of 1st Fleet: c. Amethyst 
(3d-12g4-22k), carrying flotilla com- 
mander. 
1st Sq.: c. Fearless (3.4d-10g4-25k) and 20 

destroyers (0.8d-2g4,2g3-28 to 30k). 
2d Sq.: c. Active (3.4d-10g4-25k) and 20 de- 
stroyers (0.8d-2g4, 2g3-28k). 
3d Sq.: c. Amphion (3.4d-10g4-25k) and 13 

destroyers (ld-3g4-29k). 
4th Sq.: des. Swift (2.2d-4g4-35k) and 20 
destroyers (0.9d-3g4-32k). 

Second Fleet 
Flagship: b.s. Lord Nelson (17d-4gl2,10g9.2- 
19k). 
5th Battle Sq. : b.s. Prince of Wales (15d- 



177 



178 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



4gl2-18k), Bulwark (same), Formidable 
(same), Irresistible (same), Implacable 
(same), London (same), Queen (same), 
Venerable (same). Scout: c. Diamond 
(3d-12g4-22k). 

6th Battle Sq.: b.s. Russell (14d-4gl2-19k), 
Albemarle (same), Cornwallis (same), 
Duncan (same), Exmouth (same), Ven- 
geance (13d-4gl2-18k). Scout: c. To- 
paze (3d-12g4-22k). 

5th Cruiser So.: a.c. Carnarvon (lld-4g7.5,- 
6g6-22k), Sutlej (12d-2g9.2,12g6-21k), c. 
Liverpool (4,8d-2g6, 10g4-25k). 

6th Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Drake (14d-2g9.2,16g6- 
22k), King Alfred (same), Good Hope 
(same). 

Mine Layer So..: c. Andromache (3.4d-6g2.2- 
20k), Apollo (same), Intrepid (same), 
Iphigenia (same), Latona (same), Naiad 
(same), Thetis (same). 

Third Fleet 

7th Battle Sq.: b.s. Caesar (15d-4gl2-18k), 
Hannibal (same), Illustrious (same), 
Magnificent (same), Majestic (same), 
Mars (same), Victorious (same), Prince 
George (same). Tender: c. Doris (5.6d- 
llg6-20k). 

8th Battle Sq.: b.s. Albion (13d-4gl2-18k), 
Canopus (same), Glory (same), Goliath 
(same), Ocean (same), Jupiter (15d- 
4gl2-18k). Tender: c. Proserpine (2d- 
8g4-20k). 

7th Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Aboukir (12d-2g9.2, 12g6- 
21k), Hogue (same), Cressy (same), 
Bacchante (same), Euryalus (same). 

8th Cruiser Sq.: Not organized. 

9th Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Donegal (10d-14g6-23k), 
Monmouth (same), c. Europa (lld-16g6- 
21k), Amphitrite (same), Argonaut 
(same), Challenger (5.9d-llg6-21k), Vin- 
dictive (5.8d-10g6-19k), Highflyer (5.6d- 
llg6-20k). 

10th Cruiser Sq.: c. Edgar (7.4d-2g9.2,10g6- 
20k), Grafton (same), Hawke (same), 
Theseus (same), Crescent (7.7d-lg9.2, 
12g6-20k), Royal Arthur (same), Gib- 
raltar (7.7d-2g9.2,10g6-20k). 

Patrol Flotilla. Consists of 6 scout cruisers 
as flagboats and the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th 
destroyer flotillas (79 boats— 360 to 1050 
tons) ; 7 old cruisers and the 3d, 4th, 5th, 
6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th submarine flotillas 
(3 boats of 210 tons, 36 of 320 tons, 8 of 
630 tons, 6 of 825 tons) ; also 24 torpedo 
boats of 250 tons. 

Coast-Defense Flotillas. These are separ- 
ately organized for each port and consist 
of 21 destroyers (320 to 480 tons), 44 
torpedo boats (75 to 750 tons), and 7 
submarines (210 to 320 tons). 



FRANCE 
(North Sea and Atlantic Forces) 
2d Light Sq.: Armored Cruiser Div.: a.c. Mar- 
seillaise (10d-2g7.6,8g6.4-21k), Aube 
(same), Condi (same). 

Destroyer Flotilla: c. Dunois (0.9-6g2.5-22k) 
flagboat; three divisions of 6 boats each 
(310 to 340 tons, 26 to 27 knots). 

Submarine Flotilla: Five divisions with 5 de- 
stroyers as flagboats, 18 submarines (550 
to 810 tons). 

Mining Flotilla: Two mine layers (600d- 
20k), 1 gunboat (950d-21k),'l destroyer 
(300d-26k). 

Schoolship Div.: a.c. Gloire (10d-2g7.6,8g6.4- 
21k), Jeanne d'Arc (Ild-2g7.6,14g5.5- 
23k), Gueydon (9d-2g7.6,8g6.4-21k), Du- 
petit Thouars (same). 
Coast Defense. The mobile defense of Cher- 
bourg, Brest, Rochefort, Dunquerque, 
and Bidassoa consists of 2 destroyers, 7 
torpedo boats, and 11 submarines. 

RUSSIA 

(Baltic Sea only) 
Active Fleet (Admiral von Essen, command- 
ing) 
Battleship Sq.: b.s. Czarevitch (13d-4gl2-18k), 
Imperator Pavel I (16d-4gl2,14g8-18k), 
Andrei Pervosvanyi (same), Slava (14d- 
4gl2-18k), a.c. Rurik (15d-4gl0,8g8- 
22k). 
Armored Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Gromoboi (13d-4g8, 
22g6-20k), Bay an (7.8d-2g8,8g6-21k), 
Pallada (same), Admiral Makarov 
(same), des. Novik (1.3d-4g4-36k). 
Destroyer Flotilla, 1st Sq.: Base, Libau; 4 
divisions of 9 boats each (350 to 580 tons, 
26 knots). 
2d Sq.: Base, Helsingfors; 2 divisions of 9 
boats, 1 of 8 boats (350 tons, 26 knots). 
Submarine Flotilla, 1st Div.: Base, Libau; 2 
boats of 370 tons, 1 of 150, 1 of 129. 
2d Div.: Base, Reval; 4 boats of 450 tons. 
Ships in Reserve, battleships: Imp. Alex. II 
(9d-2gl2, 5g8-15k), Petr Velikii (lOd- 
4g8-12k). 
Armored cruiser: Rossya (12d-4g8,22g6-19k). 
Cruisers: Diana (6.7d-8g6-20k), Aurora 

(same). 
Destroyers and submarines: Many building; 

some completed. 
Torpedo boats: About 20 (108 to 150 tons). 

GERMANY 
High Seas Fleet (Vice Admiral Ingenohl,* 
commanding) 
Flagship: Friedrich der Grosse (25d-10gl2- 
23k). 

* Oscar von Ingenohl, born (1857), at Neu- 
wied; spent half of his seafaring life in the 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



179 



1st Battleship Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Ostfriesland 

(22d-12gl2-21k), Helgoland (same), 

Thuringen (same), Oldenburg (same). 
2d Div.: b.s. Posen (19d-12gll-20k), Nassau 

(same), Rheinland (same), Westfalen 

(same). 
2d Battleship Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Preussen 

(13d-4gll-18k), Schleswig-Holstein 

(same), Pommern (same), Schlesien 

(same). 
2d Div.: b.s. Hannover (13d-4gll-18k), Hes- 

sen (same), Lothringen (same), 

Deutschland (same). 
3d Battleship Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Kaiser (24d- 

10gl2-23k), Kaiserin (same), Pr. Reg. 

Luitpold (same), Konig Albert (same). 
2d Div.: Ships not completed. 
Cruiser Sq., Battle Cruiser Div.: b.c. Seydlitz 

(25d-10gll-29k), Von der Tann (19d- 

8gll-27k), Moltke (23d-10gll-27k), 

Derfflinger (28d-8gl2-30k). 
Light Cruiser Sq.: c. Kbln (4.3d-12g4.1-27k), 

Kolberg (same), Mainz (same), Rostock 

(4.8d-12g4.1-27k), Strassburg (4.5d- 

12g4.1-27k), Stralsund (same), Dresden 

(3.6d-10g4.1-24k), Stettin (3.4d-10g4M- 

24k). 
Destroyer Flotillas: 1st Flotilla: 12 boats 

(550 tons-2g3.4-32.5k). 
2d Flotilla: 12 boats (570d-2g3.4-32.5k). 
3d and 4th Flotillas: each of 12 boats (640 

tons-2g3.4-32.5k). 
5th Flotilla: 12 boats (616 tons-2g3.4-30k). 
6th and 7th Flotillas: each of 12 boats (550 

tons-2g3.4-30k). 
Submarine Flotillas: 1st Flotilla: 7 boats, U- 

21 to U-27 (910 tons). 
2d Flotilla: 7 boats, U-14 to JJ-20 (295 

tons). 
3d Flotilla: 7 boats, U-7 to U-13 (255 tons). 
Mine Layers Flotilla: Arkona (1970 tons), 

Nautilus (same), Albatross (2200 tons), 

Pelikan (2360 tons). 

Reserve Squadrons 

4th Battleship Sq. : b.s. Wittelsbach (12d- 
4g9.4-18k), Zahringen (same), Schwaben 
(same), Mecklenburg (same), Elsass 
(13d-4gll-18k), Braunschweig (same). 

5th Battleship Sq. : b.s. Kaiser Barbarossa 
(lld-4g9.4-18k), Kais. Wilhelm der 
Grosse (same), Kais. Wilhelm II 
(same), Kais. Karl der Grosse (same). 

Armored Coast-Defense Sq. : a.c.d. Sieg- 

Far East in command of various vessels; at- 
tached to Admiralty in Berlin (1897-1901); ac- 
companied the Kaiser on many of his cruises 
and for a time commanded the royal yacht 
Hohenzollern; rear admiral (1908); commander 
of second squadron of the high-sea fleet (1910) ; 
served in command during early part of Euro- 
pean War, but was removed (February, 1915). 



fried (4d-3g9.4-15k), Beowulf (same), 
Frithiof (same), Heimdall (same), 
Hildebrand (same), Hagen (same), 
Odin (3.5d-3g9.4-15k), Aegir (same). 

Squadron of Instruction, Cadet and Seaman 
Schools: c. Freya (5.6d-2g8.2,8g5.9-18k), 
Hertha (same), Vineta (same), Victoria 
Louise (same), Hansa (same), b.s. (old) 
Konig Wilhelm (10d-22g9.4-15k). 
Gunnery School: b.s. Wettin (12d-4g9.4-18k), 
a.c. Bliieher (16d-12g8.2-23k), Prinz 
Adalbert (9d-4g8.2,10g5.9-20k), c. Augs- 
burg (4.3d-12g4.1-27k), Danzig (3.2d- 
10g4.1-23k), Stuttgart (3.4d-10g4.1-24k). 
Torpedo School: b.s. (old) Wiirttemburg 
(7d-6gl0.2-16k), a.c. Fiirst Bismarck 
(Ild-4g9.4,12g5.9-19k), Friedrich Karl 
(9d-4g8.2,10g5.9-20k), c. Miinchen (3.2d- 
10g4.1-23k). 

Old battleships: b.s. Worth (10d-6gll-17k), 
Brandenburg (same). 

Destroyers and submarines: About 35 destroy- 
ers, 6 submarines, 50 torpedo boats and 
several old cruisers and coast-defense 
craft were in reserve or laid up. 

Belligerent Naval Forces in the 
, Mediterranean 

GREAT BRITAIN 

2d Battle Cruiser Sq. : b.c. Inflexible (17d- 
8gl2-27k), Indomitable (same), Indefat- 
igable (19d-8gl2-27k). 

1st Cruiser Sq.: a.c. Defense (15d-4g9.2,10g7.5- 
23k), Black Prince (14d-6g9.2,4g7.5-23k), 
Duke of Edinburgh (same), Warrior 
(14d-6g9.2,10g6-23k). 

Light cruisers: c. Gloucester (4.8d-2g6,10g4- 
26k), Chatham (5.4d-9g6-26k), Dublin 
(same), Weymouth (5.3d-8g6-26k). 

5th Destroyer Flotilla: 24 boats (550 tons-27 
knots). 

Submarines: 6 boats of 320 tons. 

FRANCE 

First Fleet (Vice Admiral Boue de Lapeyere, 

commanding) 

Section of the Commander in Chief: Flag- 
ship: b.s. Courbet (23d-12gl2-21k), b.s. 
Jean Bart (23d-12g-12-21k), c. Jurien 
de la Graviere (5.6d-8g6.4-23k). 

1st Battleship Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Diderot 
(18d-4gl2,12g9.4-19k), Danton (same), 
Vergniaud (same), France (23d-12gl2- 
21k). 
2d Div.: b.s. Voltaire (18d-4gl2,12g9.4-19k), 
Mirabeau (same), Condorcet (same), 
Paris (23d-12gl2-21k). 

2d Battleship Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Verity (15d- 
4gl2-19k), Bepublique (same), Patrie 
(same). 



180 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



2d Div.: b.s. Justice (14d-4gl2-19k), Dem- 
ocratic (same). 
Light Sq., 1st Dw.: a.c. Jules Michelet (12d- 
4g7.6,12gG.4-22k), Ernest Renan (13d- 
4g7.6,12g6.4-24k), Edgar Quinet (Hd- 
14g7.6-23k), Waldeck Rousseau (same). 

2d Div.: a.c. Leon Gambetta (12d-4g7.6,12g 
6.4-23k), Victor Hugo (same), Jules 
Ferry (same). 
Supplementary Battleship Div.: b.s. Sufren 
(12d-4gl2-18k), St. Louis (lld-4gl2- 
18k), Bouvet (12d-2gl2,2gl0.8-18k). 
Destroyer Flotilla: flagboat, des. Bouchier 
(0.70d-2g3.9,2g2.5-32k). 

1st Div.: 5 boats (0.73d-2g3.9,2g2.5-32k). 

2d Div.: 5 boats (0.4 to 0.45d-6g2.6-28k). 

3d Div.: 5 boats (0.45d-6g2.6-28 to 31k). 

4th Div.: 6 boats (0.33 to 0.4d-lg2.6-27 to 
30k). 

5th Div.: 6 boats (0.33d-lg2.6-29k). 

6th Dw.: 5 boats (0.75d-2g3.9,4g2.6-30 to 
32k). 
Submarine Flotilla: flagboat, des. Dehorter 
(0.75d-2g3.9,4g2.6-31k). 

1st Div.: des. ArbalUe (0.3d-lg2.6-31k), 3 
submarines (550 tons). 

2d Div.: des Hallebarde (0.3d-lg2.6-27k), 2 
submarines (550 tons). 

3d Div.: des. Dard (0.3d-lg2.6-29k), 2 sub- 
marines (550 and 490 tons). 

4th Div.: des. Mousqueton (0.3d-lg2.6-29k), 
3 submarines (550 tons). 

5th Div.: des. Sarbacane (0.3d-lg2.6-29k), 2 
submarines (550 tons). 
Mine layers: Casablanca (945 tons), des.Baliste 

(300 tons). 
Schoolship Div.: b.s. Jaureguiberry (12d-2gl2, 
2gl0.8-18k), Charlemagne (lld-4gl2- 
18k), Gaulois (same), Marceau (lld- 
4gl3.4-16k), a.c. Pottruau (5.3d-2g7.6,10g 
5.5-19k), g.b. La Hire (0.9d-6g2.6-22k), 
transport Tourville. 
Defense Mobile. At Toulon, 3 submarines, 
several torpedo boats, 1 mother ship for 
aeroplanes; at Bizerta, 3 submarines and 
several torpedo boats. 
Morocco Div.: c. Du Chayla (4d-6g6.4,4g3.9- 

20k), Cassard (same). 
Levant Div.: a.c. Latouche Treville (4.7d-2g7.6, 

6g5.5-18k), Bruix (same). 
Miscellaneous: In addition to the active forces 
mentioned, there were 5 old battleships 
(1891-97), 4 old armored cruisers, and 10 
old cruisers which were on special ser- 
vice, in reserve, or laid up; also about 12 
destroyers, 17 submarines, and 115 tor- 
pedo boats. 



RUSSIA 

Mediterranean Sq.: a.c. Bogatyr (6.7d-12g6- 
23k), Oleg (same). 



GERMANY 

Special Sq.: b.c. Goeben (23d-10gll-27k), c. 
Breslcm (4.5d-12g4.1-27k). 

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 

Battle Fleet (Admiral Haus, commanding) 

1st Div.: b.s. Viribus Unitis (20d-12gl2-21k), 
Tegetthoff (same), Prinz Eugen 
(same). 

2d Div.: b.s. Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand (14d- 
4gl2,8g9 A-20k) ^ Radetzky (same), Zrinyi 
(same). 

3d Div.: b.s. Erz. Ferd. Mac (10.5d-4g9.4-20k), 
Erz. Friedrick (same), Erz. Karl 
(same). 

Cruiser Div.: a.c. Sankt Georg (7.2d-2g9.4,5g7. 
6,4g5.9-22k), Kaiser Karl VI (6.2d-2g9.4, 
8g5.9-21k), des. Tttrul (0.4d-lg2.8,7gl.8- 
28k), Velebit (same). 

Scout Div.: c. Saida (3.4d-7g3.9-27k), Novara 
(same), Ad. Spawn (same), Helgoland 
(same). 

Coast-Defense Service, 1st Div.: b.s. Haps- 
burg (8d-3g9.4-19k), Arpad (same), 
Badenburg (same). 
2d Div.: b.s. Wien (5.5d-4g9.4-17k), Monarch 

(same), Buda-Pest (same). 
Cruisers: a.c.d. Kronprinz Erzherzog Rudolf 
(6.8d-3gl2-16k), a.c. Kaiserin Maria The- 
resa (5.2d-2g7.6,8g5.9-19k), c. Kaiser 
Franz Joseph I (4d-8g5.9-19k), Aspern 
(2.4d-8g4.7-20k), Tzigetvar (same), 
Zenta (same), Panther (1.5d-2g4.7-18k). 

Destroyer Flotilla: 6 boats (0.8d-2g4-32.5k), 10 
boats (0.4d-lg2.8-28k) ; reserve: 1 boat 
(0.5d-6gl.8-26k), 6 boats (0.4 to 0.5d- 
misc-20 to 23k). 

Torpedo-Boat Flotilla: 12 boats (0.25d-2g2.8- 
28k), 24 boats (0.2d-4gl.8-26k), 12 boats 
(0.1d-2gl.8-28k), 6 boats (0.1d-2gl.8- 
26k), 11 boats (0.1d-2gl.4-19k), mother 
ship (13d-4g4.7-20k). 

Submarine Flotilla: 2 boats (270 tons), 2 boats 
(300 tons), 2 boats (273 tons), 1 depot 
ship (ld-4g2.8-15k). 

ITALY 

Note. — Though Italy did not enter the war 
until later, for purposes of comparison the 
condition on Aug. 1, 1914, is given. 

Active Fleet (Vice Admiral Marcello, com- 
manding) 
First Sq., 1st Div.: b.s. Dante Alighieri (19d 
12gl2-23k), Giulio Cesare (22d-13gl2- 
28k), Leonardo da Vinci (same), c. 
Nino Bixio (3.5d-6g4.7-29k). 
1st Destroyer Flotilla: 4 boats (0.7d-lg4.7, 
4g3-30k). 
3d Div.: b.s. Regina Margherita (13d-4gl2, 
4g8-20k), Benedetto Brin (same), Eman- 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



181 



uelo Filiberto (10d-4gl0-18k), Ammirag- 
lio di St. Bon (same). 
4th Destroyer Flotilla: 6 boats (0.4d-4g3- 
29k). 
5th Div.: a.c. Giuseppe Garibaldi (7.2d-lgl0, 
2g8,14g6-20k), Varese (same), Fran'- 
cesco Ferruccio (same). Carlo Alberto 
(6.4d-12g6-19k), g.b. Coatit (13d-12g3- 
23k). 
5th Destroyer Flotilla: 6 boats (0.33d-lg3, 
5g2.2-30k). 
Second So.., 2d Div.: b.s. Regina Elena (12.5d- 
2gl2,12g8-22k), Vittorio Emmanuele III 
(same), Roma (same), Napoli (same), 
c. Quarto (3.2d-6g4.7-28k). 
3d Destroyer Flotilla: 6 boats (0.7d-lg4.7, 
4g3-30k). 
4th Div.: a.c. Pisa (10d-4gl0,8g7.5-23k), 
Amalfl (same), San Giorgio (9.7d-4gl0, 
8g7.5-23k), San Marco (same), c. Mar- 
sala (3.5d-6g4.7-29k), g.b. Agordat 
(1.3d-12g3-23k). 
2d Destroyer Flotilla: 6 boats (0.4d-4g3- 
29k). 

In Reserve or on Special Service in the 
Mediterranean : 

Battleships: b.s. Conte di Cavour (22d- 
13gl2-23k); old battleships, b.s. Dan- 
dolo (12d-4gl0-16k), Duilio (same), 
Sardegna (13d-4gl3.5-20k), Sicilia 
(same), Re Umberto (same). 

Armored cruiser: a.c. Vettor Pisani (6.4d- 
12g6-19k). 

Cruisers: c. Libia (3.7d-2g6,8g4.7-22k) and 6 
old cruisers (2200 to 3500 tons). 

Destroyers: About 14 (300 to 700 tons). 

Torpedo boats: About 93 (34 to 215 tons). 

Submarines: 20 boats (110 to 463 tons). 
Ships in Foreign Waters: 

China Seas: a.c. Marco Polo (4.5d-6g6,10g4.7- 
19k). 

Red Sea and Indian Ocean: c. Piemonte 
(2.6d-10g4.7-22k), Calabria (2.5d-6g4.7- 
16k). 

TURKEY 

Note. — Though Turkey did not enter the war 
until later, for purposes of comparison the 
condition on Aug. 1, 1914, is given, adding the 
Goeben and Breslau. The battleships build- 
ing in England were taken over by Great 
Britain at the outbreak of war. So far as 
known the Turkish navy had no fleet or squad- 
ron organization. The vessels were as follows: 

Battle cruiser: Sultan Selim Javuz (ex-Goe- 

ben) (23d-10gll-27k). 
Ba'ttleships (old) : Kheyr-ed-din Barbarossa 

(10d-6gll-17k), Torgut Reis (same). 
Old 6..?. reconstructed as a.c: Messudieh (lOd- 

2g9.2,12g6-16k). 



Coast-Defense vessel: Muin-i-Zaffer (2.7d-4g6- 

12k). 
Cruisers: Medillu (ex-Breslau) (4.5d-12g4.1- 

27k), Hamidieh (3.8d-2gS,8g4.7-22k), 

Medjidieh (3.4d-2g6,8g4.7-22k ) . 
Destroyers: 4 boats (0.6d-2g3.4-35k), 6 boats 

(0.3d-various-25 to 28k). 
Torpedo boats: 10 boats (96 to 165 tons-27k). 
Submarines: none. Many small gunboats. 

Belligerent Naval Forces in the Black Sea 

RUSSIA 
Active Fleet (Admiral Eberhard, command- 
ing) 
Battleship Sq. : b.s. Panteleimon (13d-4gl2- 
16k), Tri Sviatitelya (13d-4gl2-17k), 
Joann Zlatoust (13d-4gl2,4g8-16k), Svi- 
atoi Evstafii (same), Repair ship Kron- 
stadt (16d-13k). 
Destroyer Flotilla: 1st Div.: 6 boats (615 tons, 

25 knots); 2d Div.: 6 boats (360 tons, 

26 knots); 3d Div.: 6 boats (250 tons, 
26 knots). 

Submarine Div.: 2 boats (240 tons), 2 boats 
(150 tons). 

Mine layers: Beresany (5d-12k), Prut (same). 

Submergible mine layer: Krab (500 to 700 
tons). 

Reserve Ships: b.s. Georgia Pobiedonosetz 
(lld-6gl2-16k), Sinop (same), Rostis- 
lav (9d-4gl0-16k), a.c. Kagul (6.7d-12g6- 
23k), P amy at Mercuria (same). Tor- 
pedo boats, 10 (88 to 164 tons). 

Belligerent Naval Forces in the Pacific 
and Indian Oceans 

GREAT BRITAIN 

Battleships: Triumph (12d-4gl0,14g7.5-20k), 
Swift sure (same). 

Armored cruisers: Minotaur (15d-4g9.2,10g7.5- 
23k), Hampshire (Ild-4g7.5,6g6-23k). 

Cruisers: Newcastle (4.8d-2g6,10g4-26k), Glas- 
gow (same), Yarmouth (5.3d-8g6-26k), 
Dartmouth (same), Fox (4.4d-2g6,8g4.7- 
19k), Philomel (2.6d-8g4.7-16k), Psyche 
2.1d-8g4-20k), Py ramus (same), Pelorus 
(same). 

Submarines: 3 of 320 tons. 

Australian navy: b.c. Australia (19d-8gl2- 
27k), c. Melbourne (5.4d-8g6-26k), Syd- 
ney (same), Encounter (5.9d-llg6-21k), 
Pioneer (2.2d-8g4-20k). Destroyers: 3 
boats (0.7d-lg4,3g3-26k). Submarines: 2 
of 825 tons. 

FRANCE 

Armored cruisers: Montcalm (9.5d-2g7.6,8g6.4- 

21k), Dupleix (7.6d-8g6.4-21k). 
Destroyers: 3 boats (4.3d-lg2.6-30k). 



182 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



RUSSIA 
Cruisers: Askold (6d-12g6-23k), Jemtchug 

(3.1d-6g4.7-24k). 
Destroyers: 1st Div.: 8 boats (0.35d-26k) ; 2d 

Div.: 7 boats (0.24d-26k). 
Submarines: 1 div. of 5 boats (175 to 200 

tons). 
Reserve: 4 torpedo boats, 2 mine layers. 

GERMANY 

Armored cruisers: Scharnhorst (11.4d-8g8.2, 
6g5.9-23k), Gneisenau (same). 

Cruisers: Emden (3.6d-10g4.1-24k), Dresden 
(same), Niirnberg (3.4d-10g4.1-24k), Ko- 
nigsberg (same), Bremen (3.2d-10g4.1- 
23k), Leipzig (same). 

Miscellaneous: Many unimportant gunboats, 
500 to 1600 tons, of no fighting value. 

Belligerent Naval Forces in the North 
Atlantic 

GREAT BRITAIN 

Temporary Squadron: a.c. Monmouth (lOd- 
14g6-23k), and several old and unimpor- 
tant cruisers. 

Canadian navy: c. Niobe (lld-16g6-20k), 1 
mine layer, 1 transport. 

GERMANY 

Cruiser: Karlsruhe (4.8d-12g4.1-27k). 

Miscellaneous: Several fast passenger steam- 
ers which were turned into auxiliary 
cruisers. 

FRANCE 
Temporary squadron of two cruisers in Mexico. 



Operations in the North Sea and the 
Waters about Great Britain. At the 
end of July. 1914, the German High 
Seas fleet was off the coast of Norway 
and nearly the whole of the British 
Grand fleet lay at Spithead off the Isle 
of Wight. As the probability of war 
increased, more and more definite steps 
were taken to prepare for mobilizing 
the entire British naval force and put- 
ting into full commission all ships in 
reserve and laid up. On August 2, 
German troops invaded Belgium and the 
same day the British Grand fleet was 
ordered to proceed to an unknown des- 
tination in the North Sea. On Au- 



gust 4, Great Britain and France de- 
clared war and mobilization of both 
fleets was directed. Within four hours 
of the declaration of war, British scout- 
ing squadrons were sent towards the 
German fleet and coast, one submarine 
flotilla exploring the Helgoland bight. 

The German High Seas fleet, being 
vastly inferior to the British forces 
facing it, was hastily withdrawn behind 
the defenses of the German coast at 
Kiel and in the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal 
which had fortunately been completed a 
couple of months before. 

The laying of mines now proceeded 
with indescribable rapidity. It is sup- 
posed that the Germans had begun as 
early as July 29, but this is uncertain. 
Not only were the German harbors and 
the vicinity of Helgoland protected but 
the whole eastern part of the North 
Sea was planted with mine fields where 
they were most likely to be useful and 
the approaches to the Baltic were closed 
except a narrow strip along the Swed- 
ish coast in Swedish territorial waters 
and the channels through the mined 
area which were known only to German 
and Danish pilots. Denmark was forced 
to lay mines in her own waters by Ger- 
many which sent her an ultimatum stat- 
ing that if she did not place them Ger- 
many would. According to British re- 
ports the German fields were extended 
over the whole southern part of the 
North Sea above a line joining the 
Hook of Holland with Harwich, Eng- 
land. The separate mine areas were 
small or narrow but were so numerous 
as to make navigation dangerous. The 
British thereupon closed the Strait of 
Dover by a mined area with boundar- 
ies consisting of the parallels of 51° 
15' and 51° 40' N. latitude and the 
meridians of 1° 35' and 3° E. longi- 
tude. 

They then began a systematic search 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



183 



for German mines, mine layers, and pro- 
tecting forces, and also dispatched their 
mine-sweeping groups of trawlers as 
fast as work was found for them. It 
was in connection with mine planting 
that the first naval action of the war 
was brought about. On August 5, 
H.M.S. Amphion (3400t-25k), with the 
third destroyer flotilla, was carrying 
out a prearranged plan of search when 
a suspicious ship was reported by a 
trawler. This was the German mine 
layer Kbnigin Louise, and she was 
chased and sunk; but early the next 
morning the Amphion struck a mine 
and was herself destroyed. 

On August 9, the First Light Cruis- 
er Squadron was attacked by three or 
more German submarines, showing only 
their periscopes. A lucky shot de- 
stroyed the periscope of one boat and 
the splash of countless projectiles 
blinded the view from the periscopes 
of the others. All except the injured 
boat disappeared and retreated but she 
came to the surface after a time quite 
close to the cruisers. Just as her con- 
ning tower appeared sufficiently to note 
her name, JJ-15, a shot from the Bir- 
mingham tore a hole in its base and the 
boat sank like a stone. None of the 
British vessels were injured. For more 
than two weeks following this incident 
the British continued their scouting and 
dragging for mines. Frequent clashes 
took place between the patrol vessels 
but no serious damages were inflicted on 
either side. 

On August 26, the Eighth Submarine 
Flotilla (eight boats), two destroyer 
flotillas, and their flag cruisers and 
tenders, were ordered to proceed to re- 
connoitre Helgoland and the waters to 
the southward. They were followed by 
the Battle Cruiser and First Light 
Cruiser Squadrons at a distance of 20 
to 30 miles. On August 28, the de- 



stroyer flotillas, when about 25 miles 
from Helgoland, and not much far- 
ther from Wilhelmshaven, found the 
enemy in superior force and were com- 
pelled to fall back. Admiral Beatty * 
promptly sent the First Light Cruiser 
Squadron to their assistance but, as the 
enemy's force seemed strong, he soon de- 
cided to follow with his heavy vessels. 
The advent of the battle cruisers quick- 
ly decided matters. In a short time, the 
German vessels were retiring along the 
whole front. The light cruisers, Mainz, 
Koln, and Ariadne, and the destroyer 
V-187 were sunk. No British vessels 
were lost but the Arethusa, flagship of 
the destroyer fleet, was severely injured 
and had to be towed to England. As 
soon as his light vessels were safely 
withdrawn, Admiral Beatty retired the 
battle cruisers a he was operating in 
the vicinity of mine fields and was ex- 
posed to attack by submarines, several 
of which were seen. The Queen Mary 
was twice attacked and the Lowestoft 
once, but high speed in each case made 
the attempt abortive. The short range 
of the torpedoes used in German sub- 
marines was first noticed in these at- 
tacks. 

The month of September was a par- 
ticularly eventful one. On September 
3, the British gunboat Speedy was de- 
stroyed by a mine and, on September 
7, the light cruiser Pathfinder was sunk 
by the German U-%1, the first surface 
vessel to fall a victim to the dreaded 
submarine. On September 9, the White 
Star liner Oceanic, now a naval trans- 
port, was run ashore in a fog and 

* Sir David Beatty, born (1871) in County 
Wexford, Ireland; entered navy (1884); served 
with Nile flotilla (1896) and in the advance on 
Peking (1900); aid-de-camp to King Edward 
VII (1908); naval secretary to First Lord of 
the Admiralty (1912); commander First Bat- 
tle Cruiser Squadron (1912); K.C.B. (1914); 
vice admiral (1915), youngest officer ever to 
reach that grade; married a daughter of Mar- 
shall Field of Chicago. 



184 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



wrecked. On September 28, there came 
an event which startled the world and 
added greatly to the prestige of the 
submarine. About daylight that morn- 
ing, the British armored cruisers Abo-w- 
hir, Hogue, and Cressy were on patrol 
duty in the North Sea and steaming at 
moderate speed in column. At 6.25 
a.m., the Abouhir, which was leading, 
was struck by a torpedo from a sub- 
marine and began to sink slowly. The 
Hogue and Cressy came up to her as- 
sistance, stopped, and attempted to 
save life. A little before 7 a.m., a tor- 
pedo struck the Hogue. She quickly 
capsized and sank ; probably the tor- 
pedo exploded a magazine. About 7.15, 
the Cressy was hit by a torpedo and 15 
minutes later by another. The reports 
indicate that, of the personnel of the 
three ships, 1067 were saved and about 
1133 drowned. All were sunk by the 
German submarine U-9, a 300-ton boat 
commanded by Kapitan-Leutnant Wed- 
digen. The ease with which he per- 
formed his work was due to the lack of a 
destroyer screen and the folly of the 
Hogue and Cressy in stopping their en- 
gines in the known presence of sub- 
marines. The frightful loss due to this 
error caused the Admiralty to issue or- 
ders forbidding large vessels to pro- 
ceed to the assistance of others under 
such circumstances. 

After the Abouhir-Hogue-Cressy 
catastrophe the war against submarines 
was intensified. New types of mines 
were devised. Air craft began to scout 
for them and finally to destroy them by 
dropping bombs on their decks or in 
their hatches. Huge wire nets were 
built. Some were supported by float- 
ing buoys, others by buoys which were 
kept below the surface by the moorings. 
While it was expected that some sub- 
marines would become inextricably en- 
tangled in the nets, this was not relied 



upon. The nets were watched and when 
an entangled submarine came to the sur- 
face she was destroyed by gun fire. It 
was soon found that this watching could 
well be performed by very fast motor 
boats carrying 1, 3, or 6 pounders or a 
short 3-inch. Hundreds of these were 
built — many purchased in the United 
States. The speed was high — well over 
20 knots in all cases and as near 30 
knots as the size and condition per- 
mitted. By means of these and of nets 
stretching almost from shore to shore 
and in several places, the channel was 
kept nearly free from the enemy's sub- 
marines during the transport of troops 
and munitions of war to France. 

During the month of October, the 
Germans lost a destroyer and a sub- 
marine ; the British, a submarine, an old 
cruiser, and the dreadnought battleship 
Audacious by a mine. On November 
3, a German scouting expedition along 
the Yorkshire coast destroyed a British 
submarine and slightly injured a gun- 
boat. The armored cruiser Torch, re- 
turning from this service, struck a 
chain of mines in entering the Jahde 
estuary and was sunk. A week later 
the gunboat Niger was sent to the bot- 
tom by a German submarine in the 
Downs north of Dover. On the 16th, 
the German auxiliary cruiser Berlin was 
interned at Trondjem; on the 20th, 
U-18 was rammed by a patrol boat and 
foundered; on the 23d, the German de- 
stroyer S-I2J4. was sunk in collision with 
a Danish steamer ; and on the 26th, the 
old British battleship Bulwarh was 
blown up in Sheerness harbor. The loss 
of the Bulwarh was due to some form 
of interior explosion in which her maga- 
zines were involved. The explosion was 
tremendously violent, only 14 of the 
complement of 815 escaping; and the 
ship sank in three minutes. 

During the month of November, na- 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



185 



val vessels were used to support the 
army by attacking the enemy's right 
flank wherever it reached the coast. 
Three small river monitors, purchased 
from Brazil, were found to be of great 
service in this work, their light draft of 
four and one-half feet enabling them to 
get close in shore. 

On December 16, a German battle 
cruiser squadron, supposedly consisting 
of the Derfflinger, Seydlitz, Moltke, Von 
der Tann, and Bliicher, raided the 
Yorkshire coast, bombarding the har- 
bors and cities of Hartlepool, Whitby, 
and Scarborough. Nearly 100 non- 
combatants were killed and 500 wound- 
ed. None of the towns has forts or de- 
fensive works of any kind. 

On Christmas day, a squadron of 
seven naval seaplanes delivered an at- 
tack on Cuxhaven naval base but did 
no damage of importance ; four of the 
aeroplanes were lost, though all the op- 
erators were saved. Bombs were drop- 
ped on or near the German warships ly- 
ing in Schillig roads but none were ma- 
terially injured. The only value of the 
raid seems to have been a gain in ex- 
perience and some information of the 
enemy's condition. 

The year 1915 opened with the sink- 
ing of the old battleship Formidable on 
January 1, by a German submarine in 
the Channel off Plymouth. This feat 
is specially remarkable as it took place 
at night and in a heavy sea, both con- 
ditions being very unfavorable to sub- 
marine operations. She was not, how- 
ever, accompanied by destroyers and 
this enabled the submarine to approach 
on the surface without being seen. 

On the morning of January 24, the 
fast cruiser fleet, in command of Vice 
Admiral Sir David Beatty, was patrol- 
ling in the North Sea (approx. Lat. 55° 
N., approx. Long. 5° E.). This fleet 
consisted of the First Battle Cruiser 



Squadron, Lion, Tiger, Princess Royal, 
New Zealand, and Indomitable; the 
First Light Cruiser Squadron, South- 
ampton, Nottingham, Birmingham, and 
Lowestoft; and two destroyer flotillas. 
About 7 a.m., the cruiser Aurora, one 
of the destroyer flagships, sighted the 
German light cruiser Kolberg and a de- 
stroyer flotilla and, at 7.25, action be- 
gan between them. About this time the 
German fast squadron (Rear Admiral 
Hipper), steering northwest, was sight- 
ed from the destroyer flotillas. This 
consisted of the battle cruisers Derf- 
flinger, Seydlitz, and Moltke and the 
large armored cruiser Bliicher. As soon 
as the information was signaled to Ad- 
miral Beatty, he headed for the enemy 
which had changed course to southeast 
as soon as they perceived the British 
battle cruisers. At 8.52, the Lion 
(flagship) opened fire on the Bliicher, 
the rear ship of the German column, at 
a range of a little less than 20,000 
3'ards but did not effect a hit until 9.09. 
The German vessels began to return the 
fire at 9.14; the Tiger began at 9.20, 
the Princess Royal a few minutes later, 
and the New Zealand at 9.40. The In<- 
domitable, the slowest of the British 
ships, apparently did not get near 
enough to any of the German ships to 
open fire until after the Bliicher was 
disabled. The last named had much less 
speed than the other German vessels 
and slowly dropped astern. About 
10.48, she fell out of line and turned to 
the northward with a heavy list. The 
Indomitable was ordered to attack her 
and the others of the British fleet 
pushed forward after the main body. 
At 10.54, submarines were reported on 
the starboard bow of the Lion. The 
British fleet at once changed course to- 
wards the left. At 11.03, the Lion re- 
ceived a shell in her engine room which 
disabled her port engine and she hauled 



186 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



out of action, but Admiral Beatty was 
unable to transfer his flag to the 
Princess Royal until 12.20. The Brit- 
ish squadron was now retiring, having 
pursued the enemy as close as possible 
to the areas protected by mine fields and 
submarines. The German losses are not 
exactly known. Of the Bluchers total 
complement of 885, about 200 were 
saved by British destroyers ; and they 
were bombarded by German aeroplanes 
and a Zeppelin while engaged in this 
work. The German reports of the in- 
juries to their three battle cruisers 
are not in agreement. One says that 
but a single battle cruiser was injured 
while another congratulated the navy 
that none of the injuries received would 
require the ships to be docked. The 
British casualties were reported in full. 
The Lion's machinery was disabled by 
destruction of the feed tank ; after try- 
ing to steam with one engine, that began 
to give trouble through priming so she 
was taken in tow by the Indomitable. 
On the Lion, 17 men were wounded ; on 
the Tiger, one officer and nine men were 
killed and three officers and eight men 
wounded. 

About January 26, the French tor- 
pedo boat No. 219 was sunk off Nieu- 
port. On March 4, U-8 was rammed 
and sunk off Dover, the crew being made 
prisoners. On March 10, the auxiliary 
cruiser Bayano was torpedoed by a Ger- 
man submarine and all hands lost. On 
the same day, U-12 was rammed and 
sent to the bottom by the destroyer 
Ariel and about the same date U-29 
was sunk. The captain of this boat was^ 
Commander Weddigen who torpedoed 
the Aboukir, Cressy, and Hogue. On 
May 1, the British destroyer Recruit 
was sunk by a submarine and about 
May 7 the Maori, a much larger boat, 
was destroyed by a mine off Zeebrugge. 
On May 27, the British auxiliary cruis- 



er Princess Irene was blown up in Sheer- 
ness harbor, only one of her crew es- 
caping. Like the Bulwark, she was 
loading ammunition and it is supposed 
that a shell may have dropped from the 
upper deck to the hold and struck point 
down among many other projectiles. 

On June 10, the British torpedo 
boats Nos. 10 and 12 were sunk by a 
German submarine and about the same 
time U-lJf. was destroyed and her crew 
made prisoners. On June 24, the ar- 
mored cruiser Roxburgh was torpedoed 
but the damage was not so serious as to 
prevent reaching port; on July 1, the 
destroyer Lightning received injuries 
of similar gravity from a mine or tor- 
pedo, and, although the boat escaped 
to port, 15 of her crew were lost. 

Early in July U-30 was accidentally 
sunk, but was raised within 48 hours 
and only one of the crew was found 
dead. On August 8, the patrol boat 
Ramsey was sunk by the German auxil- 
iary cruiser Meteor, but before the lat- 
ter could escape she was discovered by 
some British cruisers and was blown up 
by her commander to avoid surrender. 
On August 9, the destroyer Lynx 
struck a mine in the North Sea and im- 
mediately foundered; and, on August 
12, the auxiliary cruiser India was sunk 
by a submarine while on patrol duty. 
During the early part of August the 
coast of Belgium was repeatedly bom- 
barded by British vessels to assist mili- 
tary operations. It was reported that 
at Zeebrugge, which the Germans made 
a naval port, a number of vessels, in- 
cluding submarines and destroyers, were 
destroyed by the bombardment. 

On August 19, British submarine 
E-13 grounded on the Danish island of 
Saltholm in the Sound. Two German 
destroyers, which sighted her in this 
position, violated Danish sovereignty 
by firing upon her in Danish waters. 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



187 



On August 23, a German destroyer was 
sunk by English boats near Zeebrugge 
and about the same time U-27 was lost 
— cause unknown. 

Between October 1st and 4th, the Bel- 
gian coast was again bombarded to as- 
sist military operations. On October 
28, the armored cruiser Argyle ran 
ashore and was wrecked. On Novem- 
ber 4, German submarine U-8 was dis- 
abled off the Dutch coast and was towed 
into port where she was interned. This 
is apparently a new boat with an old 
number as the U-8, reported sunk on 
March 4, was visibly destroyed and her 
crew made prisoners. On the same date 
(November 4), a German submarine of 
new type (length, 250 feet) was cap- 
tured by being caught in a British wire 
net. On November 13, the yachts Aries 
and Irene were sunk while on patrol 
duty (circumstances not reported), and 
on November 17, the hospital ship Ang- 
lia was sunk by a mine in midchannel 
with a loss of 100 lives — chiefly wound- 
ed men. On November 28, a German 
submarine was sunk off the Belgian 
coast by a bomb from a seaplane. On 
December 30, the armored cruiser Natal 
was destroyed by an internal explosion 
while at anchor. Of the complement of 
725, 400 were saved. On January 9, 
1916, the King Edward VII was sunk 
by a mine. This battleship belonged to 
a class that was one of the last and best 
of the pre-dreadnoughts. 

On May 31, 1916, began the great- 
est naval battle of the war up to that 
time. About four o'clock in the after- 
noon the British fast battle squadron 
of seven battle cruisers and four battle- 
ships met the German High Seas fleet 
of five battle cruisers and 24 battleships 
off the northwest coast of Denmark. 
The British engaged the enemy but fell 
back before the vastly superior force in 
the direction of their main fleet. In 



this part of the action they lost the bat- 
tle cruisers Queen Mary, Invincible, and 
Indefatigable, and three armored cruis- 
ers — all of which were sunk; eight 
destroyers were sunk during the night 
attacks. The British Grand fleet came 
up about six o'clock, and soon after- 
ward the Germans began to retire, pur- 
sued by the British. The action con- 
tinued until after midnight; the night 
attacks being chiefly those of destroy- 
ers and submarines. The German losses 
are not definitely known but include the 
following, which were admitted by the 
German Admiralty : battleship Pom- 
mem, battle cruiser Liitzen, four fast 
cruisers, and five destroyers. The losses 
of officers and men were about: British, 
5000 ; Germans, 3500 ; among the Brit- 
ish were Rear Admirals Hood and Ar- 
buthnot. The Germans were favored 
by misty weather, the close proximity 
of their own coast (which injured ves- 
sels could quickly reach), and by the 
fact that, a few minutes after the ar- 
rival of the main British force, mist and 
darkness obscured them from the enemy. 
Both the British and Germans claim 
that additional vessels of their oppo- 
nents were destroyed. As regards the 
British losses, the ships alleged to have 
been sunk have been seen by disinterest- 
ed observers ; as to- further German 
losses there is no proof. 

On June 5, *L916, the British cruiser 
Hampshire was destroyed either by a 
mine or torpedo near the Orkney Is- 
lands. Lord Kitchener of Khartum and 
his staff lost their lives. The Secretary 
of State for War was on a mission to 
Russia. 

The Nottingham and Falmouth, 
light cruisers, were sunk in the North 
Sea by German submarines on August 
19. On October 26 German torpedo- 
boat destroyers made an unsuccessful 
attack on the cross-channel service. 



188 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



They lost two destroyers. The British 
lost the destroyers Flirt and Nubian. 
On November 23 torpedo boats raided 
the east coast of England near Rams- 
gate. They fired only a few shots and 
then retired. On January 23, 1917, a 
battle between destroyers occurred in 
the North Sea. Berlin claimed two 
British vessels were sunk while all of 
hers returned. London admitted the 
loss of one vessel. 

On February 26, 1917, German de- 
stroyers bombarded Broadstairs and 
Margate on the English coast. They 
caused little damage and got away un- 
scathed themselves. In a running fight 
off the Belgian coast on April 8 the 
Germans lost one destroyer and another 
was seriously damaged. Two German 
destroyers and two small British ves- 
sels were sunk near Dover on April 21. 
During April several raiding expedi- 
tions were carried out by the British 
and Germans. The former bombarded 
the submarine bases at Ostend and Zee- 
brugge, and the latter bombarded 
Ramsgate, Calais, and Dunkirk. Dur- 
ing this month also American destroy- 
ers under Admiral Sims were sent to 
European waters and greatly aided in 
combating the submarines. In the early 
part of June the British sank the S-20 
and damaged another German destroy- 
er. A few days later each country lost 
a destroyer by the explosion of mines 
in the North Sea. British vessels on 
several occasions crept close to the 
Dutch coast and captured or destroyed 
German merchantmen. 

On September 5, Scarborough, on the 
English coast, was shelled by a German 
submarine. On October 2, 1917, the 
British cruiser, Drake, was torpedoed 
and sunk off the northern coast of Ire- 
land. On October 17, two German raid- 
ing cruisers attacked a convoy in the 
North Sea and sank 5 Norwegian ves- 



sels, 1 Danish, 3 Swedish, and the Brit- 
ish destroyers Mary Rose and Strong- 
bow. On the same day the American 
transport, Antilles, was sunk, with a 
loss of 70 lives. On November 1, an- 
other American transport, the Finland, 
was torpedoed, but she was able to re- 
turn to the French port she had just 
left. On November 3 the British sank 
the German auxiliary cruiser Marie of 
Flensburg and 10 patrol boats in the 
Cattegat. On the same day they de- 
stroyed a crewless raider off the Bel- 
gian coast. This is a vessel loaded with 
high explosives, which will go off on 
contact. It was electrically controlled, 
run by gas engines, and is supposed to 
be steered into hostile warships. 

On November 5, the Alcedo, an Amer- 
ican patrol boat in European waters, 
was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 
21 men. On November 18, a skirmish 
occurred between British and German 
light forces, in which neither side did 
much damage. The British pursued 
the Germans to within 30 miles of the 
Bight of Helgoland. On November 19 
the American destroyer, Chauncey, was 
sunk as a result of a collision in the war 
zone. Twenty-one lives were lost. On 
December 6, the American destroyer, 
Jacob Jones, was torpedoed and sunk, 
with a loss of over 60 men. On Decem- 
ber 17, German cruisers again raided a 
convoy in the North Sea and sank 11 
ships, including the British destroyer, 
Partridge. This caused considerable 
comment in England and was the sub- 
ject of an investigation. 

After the battle of Jutland, naval 
operations on the part of the Allies and 
the United States have been chiefly con- 
cerned in anti-submarine warfare at sea, 
and in attack on naval bases — chiefly 
submarine. German naval activity with 
surface ships was confined almost whol- 
ly to the Baltic, where their work was 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



189 



made comparatively easy by the ac- 
tivities of the Bolsheviki who, as far as 
they were able, turned over the Russian 
ships to them. The single exception in 
ocean service was the Wolf, a converted 
merchant steamer, that had a success- 
ful career in the Atlantic and Pacific 
during 1917-1918, and returned home 
in safety. 

On April 6, 1917, the United States 
declared war against Germany. A de- 
stroyer and patrol fleet was rapidly 
prepared and, under the command of 
Vice-Admiral W. S. Sims,* U. S. N., 
arrived in a British port on May 4 and 
joined the Allied anti-submarine forces. 
The American naval patrol in Euro- 
pean waters was greatly strengthened 
early in 1918 by the dispatch of a flotil- 
la of submarines and destroyers. Oth- 
er destroyers and patrol vessels con- 
tinued to be sent to the war zone as fast 
as they were ready for service. In the 
months of April, May, and June, the 
American forces in European waters es- 
corted 121 troopship convoys consist- 
ing of 773 ships and 171 merchant ship 
convoys of 1763 ships. German sub- 
marines sank three transports contain- 
ing a large number of American troops, 
but the loss of life was small — 159 on 
the Tuscania, fifty-six on the Moldavia, 
and none on the Persic. About 360 
American soldiers were lost on the 
Otranto, which was injured by collision 
with another steamer and drifted on the 

* Sims, William S., Vice Admiral, U. S. N., 
in command of United States destroyers in 
European waters. Born (1858) at Port Hope, 
Canada. Graduated from United States Naval 
Academy in 1880. 1897-1900 naval attache at 
Paris and Petrograd. 1902-09 inspector of tar- 
get practice at Bureau of Navigation and last 
two years of this period naval aid to president. 
Member of War College 1911-13 and 1913-15 
commander of torpedo flotilla of Atlantic 
coast. In 1916 made president of Naval War 
College and commander of Second Naval Dis- 
trict. In August, 1916, made rear admiral. 
Made vice admiral in recognition of services 
rendered abroad. 



rocks. Several American transports 
were sunk on the return trip from 
France, but with small loss of life, as 
they carried few passengers, and most 
of those were saved. On September 26, 
1918, the U.S.S. Tampa was torpedoed 
and sunk with all hands while acting as 
a convoy vessel ; she was formerly a rev- 
enue cutter. On September 30, theU.S.S. 
Ticonderoga was torpedoed and sunk ; 
eleven officers and 102 enlisted men 
were drowned, three officers and five men 
were saved, and two officers were taken 
prisoners. The United States armored 
cruiser San Diego was sunk by striking 
a mine off" the Fire Island coast on 
July 19, 1918. Between May and Oc- 
tober, 1918, several German submarines 
operated along the American coast, but 
the vessels sunk were chiefly small sail- 
ing craft, and the total tonnage even 
of these was small. In March, 1918, 
the United States collier Cyclops dis- 
appeared from the sea without leav- 
ing a trace. Many German submarines 
were sunk by armed merchant vessels 
and destroyers — too many to be here 
enumerated. One transport with Amer- 
ican soldiers on board sank two sub- 
marines on the same day, and captured 
nine of the crew of one of them. On 
August 8, a German submarine sank 
the French armored cruiser Dupetit 
Thouars (9367 tons); 450 of her offi- 
cers and men were saved by United 
States destroyers which came to her 
rescue. 

The German submarine U-53, which 
came to Newport in 1916, was cap- 
tured by the French about the end of 

1917, and was afterwards successfully 
used as a decoy to other submarines. 
Minor operations were of almost daily 
occurrence in this area. On March 21, 

1918, a naval action occurred off Dun- 
kirk, between British and French de- 
stroyers and a German destroyer force. 



190 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Two German destroyers and two tor- 
pedo boats were sunk. On March 22, 
monitors bombarded the harbor works 
at Ostend. On April 25, the British 
attempted to sink old cruisers loaded 
with concrete so as to block the harbor 
entrances of Zeebrugge and Ostend. 
The Zeebrugge operation was success- 
ful, three cruisers being sunk so as to 
block the fairway, but the Ostend at- 
tempt failed. A second attempt at Os- 
tend on May 14 gave better results, but 
was not satisfactory. The operations 
were carried out with extraordinary de- 
termination and courage in the face of 
murderous fire from shore, and the loss 
of life was terrible, but their work made 
it necessary for the German submarines 
and destroyers to fall back to bases on 
the German coast, and greatly reduced 
their effectiveness. On April 17-18, 
German destroyers made a raid on the 
Flanders coast, and about the same time 
the Cattegat was swept clear of Ger- 
man patrols by a British destroyer 
flotilla. On May 15, the British gave 
warning of a new mine field extending 
from Norwegian territorial waters 
nearly to the Orkneys and the coast of 
Scotland. On May 23, the transport 
Moldavia was sunk and fifty-three 
American soldiers were drowned. 

The Submarine Campaign. — On Jan. 
31, 1917, the German government an- 
nounced to the world that with certain 
definite limitations a ruthless submarine 
warfare was to be carried on against 
all ships. For details see section, Neu- 
tral Nations, United States. A brief 
description of the campaign will be 
given here, as well as a discussion of 
the methods used to combat it. Up to 
the time of the beginning of the inten- 
sive warfare the amount of tonnage 
sunk varied according to the British 
and German reports. The latter 
claimed that 4,400,000 tons, of which 



3,000,000 were British, had been sunk 
by Feb. 1, 1917. The British Ad- 
miralty estimate was slightly more than 
3,000,000 tons, both British and other 
countries. In the first month of the 
new warfare Berlin claimed to have 
sunk 368 vessels of 781,500 tons. These 
figures varied widely from those given 
out at London, which claimed that only 
490,000 tons had been sunk. In her 
warfare, Germany made no distinction 
between neutral and enemy ships. Hos- 
pital ships and Belgian relief ships 
were sunk without warning. Three 
American vessels were also sunk. 

Starting with March, 1917, the Ad- 
miralties of the Allied Countries began 
to report the submarine sinkings in a 
general way, so that it was impossible 
to gain facts as to tonnage destroyed 
and vessels sunk. The Admiralty of 
each country announced the number of 
vessels over 1600 tons and those under 
1600 tons sunk each week, as well as 
the number of arrivals and sailings. 
French estimates place the loss of ton- 
nage in the first four months of 1917 
at 2,500,000, which was more than the 
entire tonnage built in 1916. The 
weekly and monthly losses fluctuated 
considerably. April, June, and Decem- 
ber, 1917, were high months, while July, 
August, and September were low 
months. A conservative estimate of the 
total tonnage lost during 1917 would 
be approximately 6,500,000. No fig- 
ures were published concerning the loss 
of submarines. 

The methods of fighting the subma- 
rines were many and varied. Small pa- 
trol boats 80 to 110 feet long, very 
fast, and mounted with small guns, pa- 
trolled the coasts of the Allied countries 
with great regularity. They were a 
hard mark to hit and their guns were 
heavy enough to destroy the frail sub- 
marine. All merchantmen were armed 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



191 



with guns as heavy as they could rea- 
sonably carry and were supplied with 
trained naval crews. Most of them were 
also supplied with wireless outfits in or- 
der to call for help if necessary. Aero- 
planes were given definite routes to pa- 
trol and they did effective work, inas- 
much as they were able to see a sub- 
marine quite a distance down in the 
water, even if its periscope were not 
showing above the water. They would 
then drop a bomb on it or would signal 
to a destroyer, which would come and 
drop a depth bomb, which was timed 
to explode at a given depth. All the 
Allied destroyers were supplied with 
depth bomb throwing devices. Another 
scheme used was the smoke screen. By 
means of chemical action a dense cloud 
of heavy smoke could be thrown around 
a vessel, which would hide it to such 
an extent that the U-boat would be 
unable to aim its torpedo with any de- 
gree of accuracy. Nets were also used 
as protections across the mouths of 
harbors and were often dragged 
through a given area, in order to en- 
mesh a submarine. After the United 
States entered the war the old-time cus- 
tom of convoying ships was revived, and 
to this is probably due the great de- 
crease in the numbers of merchantmen 
sunk in the latter part of 1917. Lastly, 
the indirect method of building tonnage 
faster than it could be sunk was at- 
tempted by rapidly increasing ship- 
building in the United States and other 
Allied and neutral nations. 

There is no doubt that the German 
government determined to risk every- 
thing on the submarine campaign to 
bring the war to a successful conclusion. 
It must have known that the United 
States and other neutrals would not 
for a moment stand for the restriction 
of the use of the high seas. The En- 
tente Allies reiterated time and again 



that Germany would ultimately be 
beaten because her chief weapon, the 
submarine, had not proved a thorough 
success. 

On September 1, 1918, the United 
States Shipping Board estimated that 
the Allied and neutral nations had lost 
21,404,913 deadweight tons of ship- 
ping since the beginning of the war. 
This showed that Germany had main- 
tained an average destruction of about 
445,000 deadweight tons a month. 
During the latter months, however, the 
sinkings had fallen considerably below 
the average and in May, 1918, Allied 
construction passed destruction for the 
first time. 

The following table shows the status 
of world tonnage on September, 1918. 
Figures for Germany and Austria are 
excluded : 

Deadweight 
Tons 
Total losses (allied and neutral) August, 1914- 

September 1, 1918. . 21,404,913 

Total construction (allied and neutral) August, 

1914-September 1, 1918 14,247,825 

Total enemy tonnage captured (to end of 1917) . . . 3,795,000 

Excess of losses over gains 3,362,088 

Estimated normal increase in world's tonnage if 

war had not occurred (based on rate of annual 

increase, 1905-1914) 14,700,000 

Net deficit due to war 18,062,088 

World's merchant tonnage, June 30, 1914 (Lloyd's 

Register) 73,634,328 

Anti-submarine Operations. — T h e 
strategy of the anti-submarine cam- 
paign was both active and passive. The 
active part consisted of the destruction 
of submarine bases, the placing of mine 
fields along submarine paths, the pa- 
trol and search of the seas. Its prin- 
cipal weapons were the destroyer, the 
patrol boat, the Q-boat, the mine, the 
net, the gun, the depth mine, the depth 
bomb, the airplane, the dirigible, and 
the submarine. The passive part in- 
cluded the convoy system, zigzag 
courses, camouflage, smoke screens, 
painting of ships, arming of merchant- 
men, and the placing of protective mine 
fields and nets. The arming of mer- 
chantmen forced the submarine to give 



192 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



up the gun for the torpedo until guns 
of longer range and larger calibre were 
mounted on submarines of greater size. 
This was an enormous check to subma- 
rine activities, and just as it was being 
largely overcome, an effective convoy 
system became possible through the con- 
stantly growing number of vessels suit- 
able for convoy duty. The develop- 
ment of this system at the close of the 
war was rapidly leading up to an al- 
most total nullification of the subma- 
rine, if not to its complete destruction, 
as the new destroyers under construc- 
tion in the United States and Great 
Britain were completed. The failure 
of protection to some of the earlier 
convoys in no way qualifies these views, 
for the convoying craft in every case 
were too few for the purpose, while 
the safe transportation of the Ameri- 
can army by means of adequate convoy 
proves the case beyond reasonable 
doubt, because even this convoy could 
have been improved and strengthened. 
A completely equipped convoying force 
of destroyers, airplanes, and dirigibles 
in adequate number forms nearly a sure 
barrier to the submarine. In fact, a 
group of merchant vessels so protected 
might profitably have advertised its 
sailing and route in German papers in 
the hope that German submarines would 
venture to attack, and meet almost sure 
destruction. This aspect of affairs was 
undoubtedly recognized by leading Ger- 
man thinkers, and played an im- 
portant part in the Teutonic collapse, 
and readiness for peace. 

Operations in the Baltic. Mine lay- 
ing by Germany and Russia began in 
the Baltic at least as early as in the 
North Sea. As stated in the remarks 
upon North Sea operations, the Danes 
were forced by Germany to close the 
Baltic by mining their own waters, leav- 
ing passages only known to the Ger- 



man and Danish pilots, except close in 
to the Swedish coast. German mine 
fields were very freely spread over the 
southern part of the Baltic in addition 
to covering the approaches to all Ger- 
man ports. Of the Russian fields less 
is known, but it is certain that a very 
large number of Russian mines were 
placed, particularly in the gulfs of 
Riga and Finland, and merchant ves- 
sels and others were warned of fields 
covering the Russian coast and harbors 
south of Lat. 58° 50' N. and east of 
Long. 21 E. ; also of mines in the chan- 
nels of the Aland Archipelago. The 
difficulty of defending Libau and Win- 
dau against the German army was thor- 
oughly understood and the ships, stores, 
and munitions held at these ports were 
transferred to Reval, Helsingfors, 
Kronstadt, and Riga. At Libau there 
is a dockyard of considerable impor- 
tance, second only to Kronstadt in its' 
capacity for repairs, but Windau was 
a torpedo-boat base only. 

As soon as the relations with Rus- 
sia became strained, German ships be- 
gan to patrol the coast from Memel 
to the Gulf of Riga ; on August 4, the 
light cruiser Augsburg bombarded Li- 
bau without effecting serious damage, 
and on the same day, a German expedi- 
tion took possession of the Island of 
Aland, which lies in the straits con- 
necting the Gulf of Bothnia with the 
Baltic and is only a short distance 
north of the Gulf of Finland. 

On August 27, the German cruiser 
Magdeburg ran ashore in a fog on the 
Island of Odensholm and was blown up 
to avoid capture by an approaching 
Russian naval force. It was reported 
that early in September Admiral von 
Essen, who commanded the Russian 
fleet, painted a number of his vessels to 
imitate German ships, hoisted German 
colors, and contrived, in foggy weather, 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



193 



to join a German scouting- expedition 
unsuspected. At a convenient moment 
he opened fire, sank one German cruiser 
(said to be the Augsburg), and badly 
damaged another, while his destroyers 
severely handled the smaller craft. Be- 
fore the Germans fully recovered from 
their surprise, he withdrew his force and 
escaped without material injury. On 
September 24, a German scouting ex- 
pedition of about 40 vessels of all kinds 
appeared before Windau, but after fir- 
ing a few shots retired. 

On December 12, the German ar- 
mored cruiser Friedrich Karl was sunk 
by a mine and on the 25th the old 
cruiser Hertha and a mine layer were 
attacked by Russian cruisers and re- 
ported sunk. The Russian submarines 
were now becoming effective and, not- 
withstanding the ice, were cruising in 
the Baltic ; their first victim was a Ger- 
man torpedo boat sunk off Cape Moen, 
and, at about the same time and place, 
the German cruiser Gazelle was torpe- 
doed and badly injured. During the 
remainder of the winter and the early 
spring the ice interfered with prose- 
cuting operations of importance. 

In June, 1915, the Germans began 
operations along the coast in support 
of the land forces. While endeavoring 
to lay mines in the way of the Ger- 
man fleet a Russian mine layer was dis- 
covered and sunk. On July 2, a Rus- 
sian cruiser squadron drove off a Ger- 
man light cruiser of the Augsburg class 
and several destroyers and forced the 
mine layer Albatross to run ashore in 
a sinking condition. On the same day 
a British submarine is reported to have 
sunk a battleship of the Pommern class. 

During the spring and summer of 
1915, the Germans busied themselves in 
repairing and reequipping Libau as a 
naval base and from there began opera- 
tions against Riga. During the month 



of August they made several attacks in 
force, but all failed. The Russian gun- 
boats Sivoutch and Koreetz were de- 
stroyed and at least one German de- 
stroyer was sunk. British submarines 
had now reached the Baltic in consid- 
erable numbers, passing under the mine 
fields or through the Sound and along 
the Swedish coast. Their presence 
acted as a strong check on German 
operations, especially after the German 
armored cruiser Prinz Adalbert was 
sunk (October 23) off Libau. Early 
in November, a British cruiser squadron 
escorted a flotilla of submarines (esti- 
mates of observers range from 10 to 
25) as far as the Skaw (north point 
of Denmark). From there they were 
accompanied by a destroyer flotilla un- 
til well past Elsinore and safely inside 
the Baltic. The Germans learned of 
the operation too late to prevent it. 
They had already placed a new mine 
field at the entrance to the Sound but 
the British seemed to have been able 
to avoid it. 

The large number of British and 
Russian submarines in the spring of 
1916 in the Baltic were said to have not 
only stopped German operations to the 
eastward of Danzig, but to have effect- 
ed a completely successful blockade of 
the German coast against vessels com- 
ing from Sweden, many of which had 
been captured and sunk, or warned and 
turned back (if neutral), while a large 
number were loaded in Swedish ports 
but were afraid to venture out. This 
practically completed the British naval 
cordon about the Central Powers. On 
November 7, a British submarine sank 
the German cruiser Undine, and on De- 
cember 19, another submarine sank the 
German cruiser Bremen and a torpedo 
boat. 

For the chief operation of the Ger- 
man and Russian Baltic fleets in 1917, 



194 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



consult Military Operations, Eastern 
Theatre. 

The mutinous spirit in the German 
navy, especially aroused by forced de- 
tails to the submarine service, was 
shown at an uprising among the sail- 
ors at Kiel, on January 7, 1918, in 
which thirty-eight officers were report- 
ed killed. German accounts state that 
the sea raider Wolf safely reached a 
home port (believed to be Kiel) about 
April 1, after fifteen months of cruising 
in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian 
Oceans. During the spring of 1918 
there were various reports of the blow- 
ing up of Russian warships to prevent 
their falling into the hands of the Ger- 
mans, but the reports were of doubtful 
authenticity; there is, however, no 
doubt that the commanding officers of 
the British submarines at Helsingfors 
blew up their boats in April or May, 
and escaped through Finland. 

Operations in the Mediterranean. On 
the day after war was declared the Ger- 
man naval force in the Mediterranean 
bombarded undefended seaport towns in 
Algeria, the battle cruiser Goeben firing 
upon Philippeville and the light cruiser 
Breslau upon Bona. They then pro- 
ceeded to Messina, Sicily, where they 
arrived on August 5. Being in a neu- 
tral port, they were required to depart 
within 24 hours ; so, on the 6th, they 
left, steering south. Evading the Brit- 
ish fleet which was seeking them, they 
were next heard of in the Dardanelles, 
where they arrived on August 11. Here 
they behaved to neutral steamers in a 
high-handed way which indicated Ger- 
man control of the Turkish government 
and foreshadowed the course taken by 
Turkey a short time later. To avoid 
immediate trouble for the Ottoman au- 
thorities they were supposedly sold to 
Turkey and renamed Sultan Selim Javuz 
and Medillu, but they apparently con- 



tinued in command of German officers 
and retained a part at least of their 
German crews. 

On August 9, Austria declared a 
blockade of the Montenegrin coast and 
bombarded Antivari. About the same 
date the French and British fleets es- 
tablished a blockade of the Austrian 
coast at the Strait of Otranto. The 
Austrians had placed mine fields all 
along their coast, but their first victim 
was one of their own ships, the Baron 
Gautsch, which struck a mine on the 
14th and sank at once with a loss of 
67 lives. About the middle of August, 
the French and British forces swept up 
the Adriatic, driving the Austrians to 
the northward. They then attempted 
to take Cattaro for a naval base, but 
lacked the military force for a garrison 
and shore operations, and therefore 
failed. After a few weeks of futile bom- 
bardment of Cattaro and the Austrian 
positions on the Dalmatian coast they 
returned to the vicinity of Otranto 
Strait but continued to send scouting 
expeditions up the Adriatic. 

The peculiar behavior of Turkey and 
the reported mining of the Dardanelles 
caused a British force to be maintained 
in that region. While on this duty the 
armored cruiser Warrior ran ashore 
and was injured on September 7. On 
the 10th, Turkey abrogated the capitu- 
lations with foreign governments and, 
during the latter part of October, per- 
mitted her vessels to sink Russian ships 
of war and attack Odessa. De facto 
war was begun by the Entente Allies 
on November 1 ; on the 5th, Great Brit- 
ain formally declared war on Turkey 
and annexed the Island of Cyprus. On 
December 18, England declared a 
suzerainty over Egypt. On the 21st, 
the French submarine Curie was sunk 
while scouting along the Austrian coast. 
On November 24, Italy landed a force 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



195 



at Avlona to assist her protege Essad 
Pasha against the Albanian insurrec- 
tionists. 

In January, 1915, a Turkish army 
of about 12,000 men and six batteries 
of artillery attempted to seize the Suez 
Canal and then invade Egypt, where 
an insurrection had broken out fostered 
by Turkish emissaries. French and 
British vessels patrolling the canal suc- 
ceeded in stopping the Turkish ad- 
vance, and the operations at the Dar- 
danelles then forced the recall of all 
available Turkish troops for the protec- 
tion of Constantinople. 

On February 21, the French destroy- 
er Dague was sunk by a mine off An- 
tivari. On April 28, the French ar- 
mored cruiser Leon Gambetta was tor- 
pedoed by the Austrian submarine U-5 
and sank in 10 minutes. Rear Admiral 
Senes and all the officers were drowned, 
but 108 of the crew were picked up by 
French destroyers. 

On May 21, Italy declared war on 
Austria ; on the same day Austrian tor- 
pedo boats, supported by the light 
cruiser Novara, made a raid on the Ital- 
ian coast, where they were first met by 
Italian destro} r ers and finally driven off 
by Italian cruisers. The Italian de- 
stroyer Turbinia was sunk early in the 
action. On June 10, the Italians cap- 
tured Monfalcone with its shipbuilding 
yards. 

On June 17 occurred a duel between 
an Austrian and an Italian submarine. 
As they approached, neither had any 
intimation of the presence of the other. 
The Italian boat, the Medusa, came to 
the surface first, swept the horizon with 
her periscope and, finding the vicinity 
clear, emerged. A few minutes later 
the Austrian decided to come up. When 
she sent up her periscope she saw the 
Italian boat close at hand and imme- 
diately torpedoed her. An officer and 



four men of the Medusa who were on 
deck when she sank were made prison- 
ers. On July 1, the Austrian subma- 
rine U-ll was sunk by a French aero- 
plane. U-ll (860 tons) was lying on 
the surface when the aeroplane swooped 
down to within 45 feet of the water and 
dropped two bombs on the deck which 
caused her to sink almost instantly. 

On July 7, the Italian armored 
cruiser Amalfi was sunk by an Austrian 
submarine while scouting in the upper 
Adriatic ; nearly all the officers and 
crew were saved. On July 18, the 
armored cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi 
was sunk by an Austrian submarine and 
a few of the crew were drowned. 

The advent of Italy into the war 
completed the control of the Adriatic 
by the Entente Allies and, on July 6, 
Italy clinched the situation by a procla- 
mation closing it to all merchant ves- 
sels not possessing special permits. 
Soon after the loss of the Garibaldi the 
operations of the Austrian submarines 
were much hampered by the destruc- 
tion of their base on Lagosta Island by 
the French destroyer Bisson. 

On or about August 13, the Austrian 
submarines U-3 and U-12 were sunk by 
the Italians. U-3 was destroyed by 
gunfire, but U-1% was sunk in a duel 
with an Italian submarine which tor- 
pedoed it. According to a report from 
Berlin, German submarines in the Medi- 
terranean had, up to October 17, sunk 
23 vessels, including four British trans- 
ports. 

On September 28, a fire broke out on 
the Italian battleship Benedetto Brin 
while she was lying at anchor in Brindi- 
si harbor. The fire was quickly fol- 
lowed by an explosion which destroyed 
the ship. Of her complement of over 
800 officers and men, only 8 officers and 
379 men are known to have been saved. 

On November 1, British torpedo boat 



196 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



No. 96 was sunk in collision at Gibral- 
tar. On November 3, the British trans- 
port Woodfield was sunk by a subma- 
rine off the coast of Morocco ; 6 pas- 
sengers were killed and 14 wounded. 
About the same time the transport Mer- 
cian was attacked by gunfire from a 
submarine which probably had expend- 
ed all its torpedoes. The Mercian was 
not sunk, but the casualties on board 
included 23 killed, 50 wounded, and 30 
missing. On November 4, the French 
troopship Calvados was sunk by a sub- 
marine and between the 6th and 8th a 
submarine on the African coast sunk 
three small steamers, two Egyptian 
and one British. So far as reported 
only 53 of the 800 troops on the Cal- 
vados were saved. On December 5, the 
French submarine Fresnel ran aground 
while endeavoring to attack an Aus- 
trian light squadron. She was de- 
stroyed and her complement made pris- 
oners. The Austrians report that at 
the same time they destroyed a small 
Italian cruiser. 

During the month of December, the 
Italians landed a large force of troops 
in Albania. The expedition was most 
efficiently guarded against submarines 
and the only losses were the destroyer 
Intrepido and the troopship Re Um- 
berto, which struck drifting mines. The 
loss of life in the two accidents was 
43. In January, 1916, a cruiser of 
the Novara type was sunk by the 
French submarine Foucault. 

The Italian dreadnought, Leonardo 
da Vinci, blew up in the harbor of Ta- 
ranto on Aug. 2. The British trans- 
port, Franconia, was torpedoed on Oct. 
5, and on Oct. 9, the French auxiliary 
cruiser, Gallia, was similarly sunk. 
The British ship Britannic was sunk by 
a mine in the iEgean Sea on November 
21. On December 11, the Italian bat- 
tleship, Regina Margherita, struck a 



mine and sank and 675 lives were lost. 
In 1917, huge monitors operated suc- 
cessfully in the attack on the Carso and 
in the defense of Venice. Light Italian 
motor boats armed with torpedo tubes 
were able to sail over the mine fields of 
Trieste and Pola, and in December, 
1917, they entered Trieste harbor and 
sank two cruisers of the Wien type. 

The naval operations in the Adriatic 
during the year 1918 were very active. 
On December 9, 1917, Italian torpedo 
boats made a raid on Trieste, and sank 
the small battleship Wien (5500 tons), 
and injured another of the same class. 
On April 22, in a fight between two Brit- 
ish and five Austrian destroyers, the 
former were reenforced, and the latter 
retreated to Durazzo, with the British 
in pursuit. On May 15, 1918, Italian 
torpedo boats made a raid on Pola, and 
sank the new dreadnought battleship 
Tegetthoff (20,000 tons), and on June 
10, in a similar raid sank the Szent Ist- 
van, and injured the Prinz Eugen — 
both sister ships to the Tegetthoff. On 
July 2, a flotilla of Italian destroyers 
attacked an Austrian light cruiser ac- 
companied by destroyers and torpedo 
boats. In the running fight that fol- 
lowed the cruiser was thought to have 
been seriously injured. 

Operations in the Black Sea and Dar- 
danelles. There are strong grounds for 
the belief that, at the outbreak of war, 
the Turkish cabinet was opposed to 
taking part in it, but that, as time went 
on, the German influence increased un- 
til the opposing members were won over, 
silenced, or driven from power. Among 
other significant facts it may be noted 
that the mining of the Dardanelles was 
not reported until August 19, eight 
days after the arrival therein of the 
Goeben and Breslau. On October 10, 
Turkey abrogated the capitulations 
with foreign powers concerning the 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



197 



jurisdiction of Turkish courts. By 
this time, doubtless the cabinet had 
agreed upon its action, but much time 
was required to mobilize the army, and 
it is doubtful if the cabinet was ready 
to act when the operations of the Goe- 
ben and the Germanized fleet in the 
Black Sea precipitated matters. The 
commander-in-chief of the Turkish 
navy was now Admiral Souchon (late 
of the Goeben and the German Medi- 
terranean squadron), while hundreds of 
German officers and 3000 men were dis- 
tributed among the vessels of the fleet. 
The first operations took place on 
October 29, when the Turkish squadron 
bombarded several Russian ports. A 
destroyer entered Odessa harbor, tor- 
pedoed and sank the gunboat Donetz 
and badly injured the Kubanetz (a 
sister to the Donetz), four merchant 
steamers (three Russian and one 
French), then fired upon the suburbs 
for the purpose of destroying oil tanks, 
but set fire to a sugar factory instead. 
On the same day the Medillu (ex-Bres- 
lau) bombarded Theodosia, seriously 
injuring the cathedral and other build- 
ings ; and the Hamidieh threatened to 
bombard Novorossisk if the city refused 
to surrender, but contented herself with 
embarking the Turkish consul. On 
their way to Sebastopol the Turkish 
destroyers sunk the Russian mine layer 
Pruth. The next day (October 30), ac- 
companied by destroyers, the Goeben 
bombarded Sebastopol. By the return 
fire of the forts she was so badly in- 
jured that the admiral collected the 
squadron and returned to Constantino- 
ple. On November 7, the Medillu bom- 
barded the small Russian town of Poti, 
but did no great damage. On the same 
day Russian forces shelled the Turkish 
ports of Zonguidak and Koslu, sinking 
at the former place three transports 
loaded with aeroplanes, artillery, and 



uniforms for 60,000 men; a colonel of 
the general staff, various German offi- 
cers, and 218 soldiers were made pris- 
oners. On November 17, the Russian 
squadron bombarded Trebizond, but 
without inflicting much damage. 

On November 18 occurred the most 
important naval action that so far had 
taken place in the Black Sea. The Rus- 
sian battleship division, returning from 
a cruise off the Anatolian coast, was 
about 30 miles from Sebastopol when 
the Goeben and Breslau were sighted. 
The Evstafi opened fire at about 8000 
yards ; the other ships following suit 
quickly. The Russians say that the 
Goeben was badly injured by the 
Evstafi's first salvo and was slow in 
opening fire; and that, after an action 
lasting 14 minutes, she and her consort 
retreated towards Constantinople, be- 
ing able to escape through their su- 
periority in speed. As the Goeben did 
not appear in the Black Sea for some 
months afterward, the report of her 
injuries was possibly correct, though 
Turkish advices stated that, some lit- 
tle time after this battle, the Goeben 
was injured by striking a mine. 

Early in December British subma- 
rines began to make their way through 
the Dardanelles. On December 13, the 
B-ll, in command of Lieut. Norman D. 
Holbrook, entered the Dardanelles, 
dived underneath five rows of mines and 
torpedoed and sank the Turkish battle- 
ship Messudieh. This brilliant exploit 
was soon followed by others of a simi- 
lar character. 

During January the Russian fleet 
sank several Turkish vessels in the 
Black Sea, including a number of troop- 
ships and transports, and shelled the 
Turkish naval station at Sinope. On 
the 17th the French submarine Saphir 
was sunk by a mine in the Dardanelles. 

About the middle of February the 



198 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



combined British and French fleets be- 
gan their fruitless attempt to force a 
passage of the Dardanelles. No opera- 
tions in the whole course of the war 
were so poorly conceived and so ineffi- 
ciently carried out. It is hard to un- 
derstand the folly of the British gov- 
ernment in embarking upon such an ex- 
pedition. If there is one thing that is 
well understood in naval war it is the 
absurdity of attacking strong forts by 
ships without adequate military sup- 
port. Even if the ships can drive out 
the garrison it will return as soon as 
the bombardment ceases. Unless the 
fortifications are badly placed, they 
cannot be wholly destroyed and the 
ravages of bombardment can be largely 
restored by a few days' work. Perma- 
nence of victory can only be obtained 
by occupying the works as soon as the 
defenders are expelled. 

But this was not all. The Turks are 
an unready race. When the operations 
began they had not more than 10,000 
men on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and 
these were inadequately supplied. The 
persistent attack of the Allied fleet 
showed the Turks that their enemies 
were in earnest in their endeavor to open 
the straits. Therefore the army on the 
peninsula was immediately increased in 
numbers until it is believed to have 
reached a strength of over 200,000 men, 
and supplies of all kinds were rushed to 
them. When the Allies finally landed 
their army it was too late ; the defend- 
ers were ready for them. Even in their 
landing the Allies violated all strategic 
principles. Instead of coming with an 
overwhelming force and landing near 
the neck of the peninsula, where they 
could interrupt if not destroy the 
Turkish communications, they landed 
inadequate numbers near its extremity. 
Any gains made merely drove the Turks 
nearer to their base and strengthened 



their means of resistance. This fatal 
mistake was not due to the army or 
navy on the ground, but to the lack of 
equipment of the expedition, which need- 
ed water tanks, water carts, hose, 
pumps, and other means of supplying 
water and other necessaries and, above 
all, more men. The net loss to the Al- 
lies was 100,000 men, six battleships, 
seven submarines, and many other ves- 
sels ; also a tremendous loss of pres- 
tige, the addition of Bulgaria to the list 
of their enemies, the loss of Greece and 
Rumania to their side, the opening of 
Turkey to supplies of men and muni- 
tions from Germany, a vital hampering 
of Russian operations through the fail- 
ure to open the straits for their grain 
and supplies, a renovation of the Turk- 
ish army, Turkish courage, and Turkish 
determination, the destruction of Ser- 
bia, and a prolongation of the war by 
many months. The only gain was a tem- 
porary recall of the Turkish troops sent 
to invade Egypt. As this expedition 
was as ill-planned as were the British 
operations at the Dardanelles, its suc- 
cess was impossible and its recall un- 
important. 

As already stated, the operations be- 
gan in February. Several bombard- 
ments of the forts were carried out and 
considerable injury inflicted upon them. 
The ships, much hampered by bad 
weather outside, then entered the straits 
for closer work. On March 18, the 
British battleships Ocean and Irresisti- 
ble and the French battleship Bouvet 
were sunk by mines and the British bat- 
tle cruiser Inflexible badly injured by 
gunfire. The plan of forcing the pas- 
sage by battleships was then given up 
and the second phase of the operations 
soon began. In the meantime the Brit- 
ish submarine AE-% was sunk in the Sea 
of Marmora, the E-15 run ashore and 
destroyed in the Dardanelles, and the 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



199 



Turkish cruiser Medjidieh sunk by a 
mine near Odessa (she was refloated in 
May by the Russians). Late in April 
the British and French troops were 
landed under fire at the Dardanelles. 
On May 12, the British battleship Go- 
liath was sunk by a Turkish destroyer 
in a night attack ; the battleships Tri- 
umph and Majestic were sunk by sub- 
marines a few days later, the former on 
the 22d, the latter on the 27th. The 
British submarines were very active at 
this time in the Black Sea and Sea of 
Marmora, sinking many vessels, chiefly 
transports and troopships, but on Aug- 
ust 8 they sank the old Turkish bat- 
tleship Kheyr-ed-din Barbarossa and 
the Turkish gunboat Berk-i-Satvet. 
The commander of one submarine swam 
ashore and destroyed a bridge on the 
Turkish line of communications ; this 
was done in the actual presence of the 
Turkish patrol. In June the German 
U-51 was sunk in the Black Sea and the 
German submarine base at Smyrna de- 
stroyed. 

About August 1, the French subma- 
rine Mariotte was sunk. During the 
summer many British transports and 
troopships were destroyed by German 
submarines, the most important being 
the troopship Royal Edward, which was 
sent to the bottom on August 14 with 
the loss of 800 lives ; but the sinking of 
the troopships Ramazan (Br.) and the 
Marquette (Fr.) were disasters almost 
equally great. 

In the Black Sea the Russians seemed 
to have been unable to blockade or cap- 
ture the Medillu (ex-Breslau) or the 
Hamidieh. In October the Sultan Se- 
lim Javuz (ex-Goeben) appeared again 
in the Black Sea but accomplished noth- 
ing of importance and seemed to be 
partly disabled. On November 3, the 
French submarine Turquoise was sunk 
by gunfire in the Sea of Marmora ; on 



the 5th the British submarine E-20 
was reported missing and E-7 as sunk. 
On November 10, the British destroyer 

Louis was sunk. 

i 

The Dardanelles operations were now 
admitted to be a failure, and the Brit- 
ish began to transfer their troops to 
Saloniki. The operations in the Black 
Sea still continued but by the summer 
of 1916 had become of no special im- 
portance since the Turkish navy had 
been reduced to impotence. On Oct. 
20, 1916, the Imperatritsa Marie, a 
Russian dreadnought, blew up. In 1917 
over 200 Turkish sailing vessels were 
destroyed by the Russian fleet. 

Many of the officers and men of the 
Black Sea Fleet refused to recognize 
the authority of the Bolshevik leaders, 
Lenine and Trotsky. This resulted in 
several battles between the two factions 
which usually ended disastrously for 
the anti-Bolshevik men. The final one 
of several massacres consisted in the 
murder of sixty officers, and an un- 
known number of men, who resisted the 
attempts to reduce the ship to impo- 
tence. This completed, the ships were 
surrendered to the Germans on June 10, 
1918. The Turkish cruiser Medjidieh, 
which had been sunk in action, and 
afterwards raised and repaired by the 
Russians, was returned to the Turks. 

Cruiser Operations in the Atlantic, 
Pacific, and Indian Oceans. At the 
outbreak of war the only German 
vessels beyond the reach of home ports 
were the battle cruiser Goeben, the ar- 
mored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneise- 
nau, the fast cruisers Karlsruhe, Bres- 
lau, Emden, Dresden, Nurnberg, Ko- 
nigsberg, Leipzig, and a number of small 
cruisers and gunboats. To these were 
quickly added several fast merchant 
steamers, the Kaiser Wilhelm der 
Grosse, Kronprinz Wilhelm, Prinz Eitel 
Friedrich, Cap Trafalgar, and Spree- 



200 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



wald. These had their armaments on 
board or in German colonial ports. 

The operations of the Goeben and 
Breslau are described elsewhere in this 
article. The Scharnhorst and Gneise- 
nau were, after the Goeben, the most 
important vessels on the list and were 
under the command of Vice Admiral 
Count von Spee, the only German flag 
officer outside of European waters. 
After the commencement of hostilities 
these vessels were first heard of at Ta- 
hiti, where they bombarded the port of 
Papeete and sunk the French gunboat 
Zelee. The Nurnberg, after cutting the 
America-Australia cable at Fanning 
Island, joined Von Spee's squadron. 
He then proceeded to the west coast 
of South America, where he met the 
Dresden and Leipzig. 

On the afternoon of Nov. 1, 1914, 
Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cra- 
dock, * with a squadron consisting of 
the armored cruisers Good Hope (14d- 
2g9.2,16g6-23k) and Monmouth (10d- 
14g6-23k), the fast light cruiser Glas- 
gow (4.8d-2g6,10g4-26k), and the 
armed merchant steamer Otranto, was 
off the Chilean coast searching for Ger- 
man cruisers. The old battleship 
Canopus (13d-4gl2-18k) was near at 
hand and proceeding to a rendezvous to 
join the squadron. About 4.20 p. m. 
smoke was seen to the northward and 
soon afterward Von Spee's squadron, 
consisting of the Scharnhorst (11.4d- 
8g8.2,6g5.9-23k), Gneisenau (same), 
unarmored cruisers Dresden (3.6d- 
10g4.1-24k), Leipzig (3.2d-10g4.1- 
28k), and Nurnberg (3.4d-10g4.1- 
24k), was sighted heading south. Cra- 

* Sir Chrtstopheb Cradock (1862-1914), 
born at Hartforth, Yorkshire; served in the 
Sudan, China, etc.; rear admiral (1910); 
K.C.V.O. (191?); commander of training; 
squadron (1912); received several awards for 
saving life; published Sporting Notes in the 
Far East (1889), Wrinkles in Seamanship 
(1891), Whispers from the Fleet (1907). 



dock seems to have much overestimated 
the fighting power of his squadron (es- 
pecially in the heavy sea which was run- 
ning) or underestimated that of the 
Germans. At any rate, he sent a wire- 
less message to the Canopus at 6.18 
saying: "I am going to attack the 
enemy now," ordered the speed increased 
to 17 knots, and headed to the south- 
east, the Germans being between the 
British and the coast. At 7.03, the 
enemy opened fire at about 11,500 
yards, quickly followed by the British. 
The superiority of the German ships 
was at once apparent. The heavy seas 
made it almost impossible to work the 
British 6-inch guns on the lower decks 
(and most of them were on that deck), 
and one of the Good Hope's 9.2-inch 
pieces was put out of action very early 
in the fight. Fires broke out in the 
forward turrets of the Good Hope and 
Monmouth at about the third German 
salvo, possibly from accumulated am- 
munition. At 7.50 a tremendous explo- 
sion occurred on the Good Hope amid- 
ships, the flames reaching an altitude 
of 200 feet. The Monmouth was al- 
ready out of action, down by the head, 
and leaking badly. The night had be- 
come so dark that for some time the 
Germans aimed at the flames on the 
doomed vessels, both of which had 
ceased firing altogether before 8 o'clock. 
A rain squall coming up added to the 
difficulty of pointing the guns, so Von 
Spee signaled the light cruisers to at- 
tack the enemy's ships with torpedoes. 
The Good Hope could not be found and 
had probably gone down, but the Nurn- 
berg discovered the Monmouth and, by 
gunfire at close range, caused her to 
capsize. In the darkness and thick 
weather the Glasgow and Otranto got 
away without difficulty. As this fight 
took place in a very rough sea, it is 
doubtful if the Good Hope could use 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



201 



more than four of her sixteen 6-inch 
guns or the Monmiouth more than five 
of her 14. The disabling of one of the 
9.2-inch guns of the flagship by a lucky 
shot hastened the catastrophe. 

The result of the action created a 
profound excitement in Europe, par- 
ticularly in England, and added much 
to the prestige of the German navy. 
The British Admiralty immediately took 
steps to meet the situation by secretly 
dispatching a squadron under Vice 
Admiral Sturdee in pursuit of Von 
Spee. This consisted of the battle 
cruisers Invincible (17d-8gl2-2!7k), In- 
flexible (same), the armored cruisers 
Carnarvon (10.8d - 4g7.5, 6g6- 23k), 
Cornwall (same as Monmouth), Kent 
(same), the fast cruiser Bristol (sister 
to the Glasgow), and the Macedonia 
(10,500 tons), supply steamer. At 
some rendezvous on the South American 
coast they were joined by the Canopus 
and Glasgow. About 8 o'clock on the 
morning of December 8, while Sturdee 
was coaling in the adjacent harbors of 
ports William and Stanley, Falkland 
Islands, the leading ships of the German 
squadron were sighted. Knowing noth- 
ing of the battle cruisers, the Germans 
came leisurely on, apparently intent 
upon destroying the wireless station. 
At 9.20, they were within 11,000 yards 
and the Canopus, still at anchor, opened 
fire on them over the lowland. They 
then turned to the southeast to rejoin 
the main body which immediately pro- 
ceeded to the eastward at full speed. At 
9.45, the British squadron came out and 
started in chase. About 1 p.m. the In- 
vincible and the Inflexible began firing 
on the rear ships of the German column 
and a little later were able to reach the 
armored vessels and leave the others to 
the cruisers. About 3.30, the Scharn- 
Jwrst changed course about 10 points 
(112.5 degrees) to starboard, presum- 



ably to bring her starboard battery 
into action, because of injury to her 
port guns, or to repair damages. At 
4.04, she began to list heavily to port 
and at 4.17, sank with all hands. The 
Gneisenau continued the hopeless fight, 
though after 5 o'clock she was hors de 
combat. At 6 p.m., she heeled very sud- 
denly and sank. About 100 survivors 
were picked up. These state that the 
ammunition had given out, although by 
the time it was exhausted over 600 of 
the complement had been killed or 
wounded. Of the German light cruisers, 
the Leipzig was sunk by the fire of the 
Glasgow and Cornwall about 9 p.m. and 
the Nurnberg by that of the Kent at 
7.27. Seven officers and 18 men were 
saved from the two ships ; many others 
lost their lives through being chilled 
by the coldness of the water. The 
Dresden, which escaped, was discovered 
off the island of Juan Fernandez on 
March 14, 1915, by the Glasgow, Kent, 
and auxiliary cruiser Orama. After an 
action of five minutes' duration she sur- 
rendered, but was on fire and soon after- 
ward blew up. The Dresden's cruise as 
a commerce destroyer was not very 
eventful. After leaving the West In- 
dies she sank the British steamer 
Hyades off Pernambuco about August 
22 and the Holmwood near Rio de 
Janeiro, August 29. After her escape 
from the battle of the Falklands, she 
sank the Conway Castle off Chile on 
February 27. 

Of all the German cruisers the Em- 
den (3.6d-10g4.1-24k) had the most 
spectacular and successful career. On 
August 1, she left Tsingtao. On the 
6th she captured a vessel of the Russian 
volunteer fleet and sent her into Tsing- 
tao. She then went to the southward. 
On September 16, the British S.S. 
Kabinga arrived at Calcutta with the 
crews of five others that had been cap- 



202 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



tured and sunk by the Emden, which 
was now accompanied by the German 
auxiliary cruiser M arkomannia and the 
Greek collier Pontoporos. Several 
British and French cruisers were at 
once started after her. On September 
16, she coaled in False Bay and on 
September 18, sank the Clan Mathe son. 
On the 22d, she appeared off Madras 
and shelled and set fire to the oil tanks 
of the Burma Oil Company. On the 
24th, she reached Pondicherry after 
sinking five more British steamers. On 
her way around Ceylon, in three days, 
she sank five British steamers and cap- 
tured a collier with 7000 tons of Welsh 
coal. She then went to the Maldive 
Islands, which she left on October 1. 
She spent the 5th to the 10th at Diego 
Garcia, Chagos Islands, cleaning her 
bottom and boilers. Leaving her ten- 
ders to proceed to some unknown ren- 
dezvous, she went to the vicinity of the 
Laccadive Islands, where she sank five 
steamers and a dredger, and captured 
another collier, but sank it also after 
filling her bunkers. On October 16, her 
tenders were captured by the British 
cruiser Yarmouth. At early daylight 
of October 29, with a dummy fourth 
smokepipe she entered Penang harbor 
(1700 miles from the Laccadives), her 
hostile character wholly unsuspected, 
sank the Russian cruiser Jemtchug and 
a French destroyer, and escaped with- 
out injury. On November 9, she ap- 
proached the Cocos Islands to destroy 
the wireless station. Before she could 
effect a landing, the operators signaled 
her appearance broadcast and the re- 
port was picked up by the convoy of 
some Australian troopships bound to 
the Suez Canal and not far away. The 
cruiser Sydney (5.4d-8g6-26k) was de- 
tached to chase her, and came in sight 
while the Emden was waiting for her 
landing party. Leaving these men be- 



hind, she attempted to escape, but the 
Sydney was faster and carried a heavier 
battery so that in a short time she was 
badly injured and forced to run ashore. 
Of the 361 in her complement, all ex- 
cept 10 officers and 198 men were killed 
or drowned. Among those saved, for- 
tunately, was her distinguished captain, 
Commander Karl von Muller, whose 
conduct throughout the cruise was 
brave, skillful, and chivalrous. Dur- 
ing her remarkable career of 94 days 
the Emden captured or sank 30 vessels, 
destroyed $25,000,000 worth of enemy 
property, almost paralyzed the com- 
merce of the East, and had 19 war ves- 
sels of the enemy seeking her. 

The Konigsberg (3.4d-10g4.1-24k) 
was less successful. After a cruise of 
two months along the South African 
coast, in which she destroyed several 
British merchant ships and the small 
cruiser Pegasus, she was blockaded in 
the Rufiji River, German East Africa. 
After several attempts, she was finally 
destroyed by a British expedition on 
July 11, 1915. 

The Karlsruhe (4.8d-12g4.1-27k) 
operated in the Atlantic. Up to Oct. 
24, 1914, she had captured and de- 
stroyed 17 British vessels. 

Of the German armed merchant 
steamers, the Spreewald was captured 
by the armored cruiser Berwick on Sep- 
tember 12. The Kaiser Wilhelm der 
Grosse had a still shorter career, being 
sunk on Aug. 7, 1914, by the British 
cruiser Highflyer. On October 14, the 
Cap Trafalgar, which was beginning to 
interfere with the British trade to South 
America, was sunk by the British armed 
steamer Carmania, late of the Cunard 
line. The Kronprinz Wilhelm and the 
Prinz Eitel Friedrich, after long and 
successful cruises as commerce destroy- 
ers, entered United States waters and 
were interned at Norfolk. The U-53 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



203 



entered the harbor of Newport, R. I., 
Oct. 7, 1916, delivered a letter to the 
German Ambassador and torpedoed 
three British and two neutral steam- 
ships just outside the 3-mile limit. In 
January, 1917, a raider sank 30 ships 
worth $20,000,000 in the South Atlan- 
tic. In August, the Seeadler was 
wrecked near the Fiji Islands after 
sinking several ships. 

Immediately after war was declared, 
the Entente Allies began perfecting ar- 
rangements for the capture of German 
colonies. On Aug. 7, Togoland was 
seized by land forces. On Aug. 27, 
Japan declared a blockade of Kiaochow, 
and on Nov. 7, Tsingtao, the German 
stronghold in China, surrendered to the 
Allied forces — chiefly Japanese. Early 
in August, a New Zealand expedition 
sailed for Samoa. At Noumea, the con- 
voy — which was a weak one — became 
strengthened by the battle cruiser Aus- 
tralia (19d-8gl2-27k) and the cruiser 
Melbourne (sister to the Sydney) of 
the Australian navy, and the French 
armored cruiser Montcalm (9.5d- 
2g7.6,8g6.4-21k). The expedition ar- 
rived at Apia on August 30 and the 
German Governor surrendered at once 
as he had practically no means of re- 
sistance. On its return from Samoa, 
the Australian squadron captured Her- 
bertshohe, the capital of the Bismarck 
Archipelago, and, on September 27, 
took possession of the town of Fried- 
rich Wilhelm in Kaiser Wilhelm's Land 
(German New Guinea). During Sep- 
tember and October, Australian and 
Japanese expeditions seized the remain- 
ing German possessions in the Ladrone, 
Marshall, and Caroline Islands. Late 
in 1917, Japanese sailors were landed 
in Vladivostok to preserve order and 
protect Japanese subjects, and early 
in 1918 American and Japanese troops 
were sent there to prevent the use of 



the port and railway, and the seizure 
of the munitions in store by the Bol- 
sheviki. In January, 1918, German offi- 
cers and men from the interned German 
steamer, Graf von Lilttwitz, seized a 
Dutch submarine, killing one of the 
guard, and put to sea. The boat was 
quickly followed by Dutch and Allied 
cruisers, but her subsequent career is 
unknown. In February, the German 
commerce-destroying raider Wolf re- 
turned to a home port (believed to be 
Kiel) after a cruise of fifteen months 
in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian 
Oceans, in which she destroyed eleven 
ships (six British, three American, one 
Japanese, one Spanish), of an aggre- 
gate gross tonnage of 32,864. The 
Wolfs Cub (ex-Igotz Mendi), which 
had accompanied her as a lightly-armed 
auxiliary, ran ashore on the Danish 
coast and was wrecked. In February 
or March, a gasoline motor boat, the 
Alexander Agassiz, which had been 
previously sold to unknown purchasers 
and fitted out at Mazatlan as a German 
raider, was seized at sea by an Ameri- 
can patrol ship, and carried to an 
American port. In March, a mine field 
in which the mines were of the latest 
German type, was discovered off the 
coast of New South Wales, Australia. 
These mines were presumably laid by 
some "neutral" vessel, and extended for 
five miles along the ordinary trade 
route. Early in March, 1918, one of 
the Wolfs prizes, the Turritella, which 
she had turned into a mine-planter, was 
discovered- laying mines off Perim 
Island, at the entrance to the Red Sea. 
She had a deck force of Germans, but 
had retained the original engineer's 
force of Chinese. When the Germans 
saw that capture was inevitable, they 
took to the boats, and blew up the ship, 
while the Chinese were still below. 
They were taken to Bombay to be tried 



204 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



for murder. On July 12, the Japanese 
dreadnought battleship Kawachi (20,- 
800 tons) was destroyed by an in- 
ternal explosion while at anchor in To- 
koyama Bay; the entire complement of 
960 officers and men are said to have 
been killed or drowned. 

For a discussion of blockade and the 
submarine warfare against noncombat- 
ants, see the section in this article 
headed Neutral Nations. 

Naval Strategy of the War. There 
is much reason to believe that Germany 
strongly hoped for the continued neu- 
trality of Great Britain and her origi- 
nal naval plans are said to have been 
based on this supposition. The High 
Seas fleet was off the coast of Norway, 
leaving behind it in the Baltic a suffi- 
cient force to hold the Russian navy in 
check. Had England not entered the 
war, the High Seas fleet would have 
proceeded to the west coast of France, 
defeated the inferior French fleet, and 
established a base for the landing of an 
army of large size in the French rear. 
The advent of England changed all 
this. The High Seas fleet was with- 
drawn to the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal and 
a submarine warfare begun. With this, 
it was hoped to reduce the British 
forces to a size that would render vic- 
tory possible. But the British battle 
fleet kept behind defenses that were sub- 
marine proof and instituted a blockade 
and antisubmarine warfare by means of 
unimportant vessels. Raids in force on 
the British coast only served to bring 
into view the battle-cruiser squadron 
and its speed and skillful handling pre- 
vented submarines from scoring. In the 
meantime, the British were building 
battleships, cruisers, and submarines at 
a rate of speed that the Germans could 
not equal. After six months, during 
which the naval conditions were becom- 
ing less and less favorable to Germany, 



submarine warfare against British com- 
merce was commenced, but this failed 
seriously to check British trade and 
was almost as costly to Germany as to 
her enemies. The Mediterranean field 
was then exploited as affording a bet- 
ter chance to avoid antisubmarine war- 
fare and giving some support to the 
Balkan and Asiatic operations ; but this 
transfer of submarine activity did not 
seriously hamper the Entente Allies or 
facilitate their own work. 

The total effect of the German naval 
strategy upon the conduct of the war 
therefore was small and that strategy 
may be regarded as a failure. Should 
England strip herself of effective troops 
too closely at any time, an invasion 
might be attempted as a last resort. A 
preliminary success would add to the in- 
vading army all the German prisoners 
in England and they would only need 
arms and ammunition to create a seri- 
ous condition of affairs. To secure 
such a result, the sacrifice of the Ger- 
man fleet might not be too great. 

The main principles of British naval 
strategy appeared to be: (a) to hold 
the German fleet blockaded and be pre- 
pared at all times to give battle and 
bring into action forces superior to any 
which may have to be met; (b) to pro- 
tect the British coast against an inva- 
sion in force; (c) to effect a commer- 
cial blockade (not declared) of Ger- 
many and prevent the importation of 
supplies of any kind or the exportation 
of wares, which could be sold for cash 
or exchanged for a desirable equivalent ; 
(d) to protect British trade and de- 
stroy all German cruisers or other ves- 
sels that might interfere with it; (e) 
to facilitate and assist in the military 
operations of the Entente Allies and 
hamper those of the enemy. 

The tactical operations occasionally 
failed but the strategical objectives 



NAVAL OPERATIONS 



205 



were attained except in the case of 
the Dardanelles. The mistakes made 
in this dismal failure are elsewhere con- 
sidered. See Operations in the Black 
Sea and Dardanelles. 

Some Naval Lessons of the War. 
Submarines. — The exact value of the 
submarine as a weapon of war is not 
yet determined though it is unquestion- 
ably great. It is certainly an an- 
tagonist to be feared by all surface 
ships, but it is by no means so danger- 
ous as many once thought it. Its most 
serious weakness is its vulnerability. If 
rammed with much force or struck by 
a single small shell it will sink, but 
double hulls and submerged water-tight 
decks may, in future large boats, greatly 
improve their ability to stand punish- 
ment. While it is being improved and 
rendered more effective and dangerous, 
so are its foes. The most important of 
these are the destroyer and the aero- 
plane ; but under certain conditions the 
wire (in many cases, tubing) net and 
the swift motor boat are most efficient. 
As the immediate cause of destruction 
of submarines the destroyer ranks first, 
but the aeroplane can sight a submarine 
when too deeply immersed to show her 
periscope and thus warn surface ves- 
sels of her exact locality ; in several 
instances during the war, aeroplanes 
sunk submarines by dropping bombs on 
them. Among the important qualities 
of the submarine are its suitability for 
secret scouting, its capacity for defense 
against a close blockade, and its avail- 
ability for protecting surface ships 
against the enemy's submarines. 

Battleships and Battle Cruisers. — 
Battleships did not receive a proper 
test in the war. Battle cruisers are in 
great favor and are found to be of in- 
estimable value in many ways, but they 
are not able to stand very much pun- 
ishment. 



Torpedo. — The German short-range 
torpedo, with its enormous bursting 
charge, is a very deadly weapon, rarely 
failing to sink the enemy. Long-range 
torpedoes of the future are likely to be 
larger than existing types and have 
heavier bursting charges. Against the 
disruptive effect of so great an amount 
of explosive no method of subdivision 
of hull is adequate and some other 
means must be devised if surface battle- 
ships are to continue in use. On some 
of their old cruisers the British built 
external coffer dams along the sides. 
These greatly reduced the speed and 
their efficiency against torpedoes was 
not tested so far as known. 

Old Battleships and Cruisers. — All 
the belligerent navies have found much 
use for old ships that were no longer 
fit for their designed purposes. In fu- 
ture, such craft are likely to be retained 
much longer than was hitherto consid- 
ered desirable. 

Monitors. — As a support to military 
operations, light-draft monitors have 
proved to be valuable. Their low speed 
in connection with small draft renders 
possible adequate hull protection 
against torpedoes, and their draft en- 
ables them to get close in shore where 
the ordinary battleships could not 
operate. 

Light Cruisers are all now fitted with 
thin armor belts at the water line and 
the value of this is said to have been 
demonstrated, especially when scouting 
against destroyers. The necessity of 
the highest practicable speed is unques- 
tionable and the battery, instead of 
many small guns, should consist of a 
less number of larger ones. 

Bombardment of Forts. — The futil- 
ity of bombarding forts with ships, un- 
less an adequate landing force is avail- 
able to take advantage of the work of 
the ship's guns, has been conclusively 



206 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



shown in the past and received another 
convincing proof at the Dardanelles. 

Air Craft. — The value of air craft as 
scouts for their fleet was clearly demon- 
strated, and further important uses in- 
dicated, though as yet untried. As de- 
tectors of submarines, aeroplanes are 
invaluable adjuncts to a fleet. Airships 
are also valuable, but as constructed at 
present, large ones can only operate 
from a base on shore. See section on 
Aerial Operations. 

Big Guns and High Angle of Eleva- 



tion. — Perhaps the most definite of the 
lessons of the war was the dominance of 
the big gun. Its greater range and de- 
structive power gave the victory in 
every instance at sea in which the fight 
lasted to a finish. But, in the battle off 
the Falklands, the high elevation which 
it was possible to give the German 8.2- 
inch guns enabled them to open fire 
almost as soon as the 12-inch pieces of 
their opponents ; and, in the battles in 
the North Sea, the advantage of high 
angle of elevation was again noted. 



VI. AERIAL OPERATIONS 



The outbreak of the war found the 
Great Powers of Europe ready and 
anxious to make immediate application 
of aeronautics to their respective mili- 
tary and naval operations. That all 
were inadequately prepared on the score 
of equipment and trained personnel the 
opening weeks of the war soon showed, 
and early the demands likely to be made 
on the aerial services were clearly in- 
dicated. But in no field did develop- 
ments follow more rapidly, and as early 
as the Germans undertook the invasion 
of Belgium and France it was realized 
that aeroplane and airship had worked 
materially to change the nature and 
scope of military operations and to 
render obsolete tactics and movements 
that long had prevailed in warfare. By 
affording to scouts and intelligence offi- 
cers a complete view of the enemy's ter- 
ritory, the disposition and movement of 
his troops and fleets, and his permanent 
or even his most temporary defenses, 
surprise or flanking movements were 
rendered practically impossible. With 
both sides adequately informed as to 
the forces of their adversaries through 
constant aerial scouting and reconnois- 
sance, the tendency towards trench 
fighting and the protracted sieges and 
bombardments of the western front was 
as pronounced as it was inevitable. The 
direction and control of fire from an 
observation or kite balloon or aeroplane 
early became an indispensable feature 
of the work of the artillery. The tacti- 
cal changes wrought by the use of air 
craft were stupendous, and the service 
of security and information by aerial 
observers and range finding for the ar- 



tillery became essential features of the 
everyday work of the forces in the field. 
In addition there were raids by aero- 
plane and airship to drop explosive or 
incendiary bombs on fortified positions, 
moving columns, railway trains, supply 
depots or munitions works, or on war- 
ships, submarines, and transports. 

Such activities on the part of the 
airmen soon became so valuable in a 
military sense that the prevention of 
these efforts was essential, and this nat- 
urally led to the development of the 
purely combative side of aerial warfare, 
which soon passed from individual duels 
in the air to savage actions often at 
close range participated in by a num- 
ber of aeroplanes of different types, 
where battle tactics of an elementary 
form were evolved as a result of train- 
ing and drill to secure harmony of 
action. 

Naturally this led to increased arma- 
ment and armoring of the aeroplanes, 
and the calibre of the rapid-fire gun 
that soon took the place of the auto- 
matic pistol became greater, so that by 
1916 an air battle was indeed a serious 
matter, and the protection of fuel tanks 
and machinery and the design of ma- 
chines to withstand as much penetration 
of the wings as possible figured promi- 
nently, as indeed did the entire question 
of design and construction for power, 
carrying capacity, speed, ease of ma- 
noeuvring, and general reliability. Re- 
markable advances were realized, along 
with wholesale demands which taxed the 
facilities for manufacture in the bellig- 
erent nations as well as in America. 
Flying corps existing in armies and 



207 



208 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



navies were on the outbreak of the war 
greatly augmented and preparations 
made to train vast numbers of aviators. 
It was estimated that the various bellig- 
erent nations on the outbreak of the 
war possessed about 5,000 aeroplanes 
and 109 dirigibles. Naturally Ger- 
many, where some 12 Zeppelins and 
about 23 Parseval and Gross airships 
and about 1,000 aeroplanes were avail- 
able at the beginning of the war, was 
preeminent as regards numbers and 
trained pilots and observers; but here 
the policy of standardization and or- 
ganization contributing so much to her 
efficiency in other fields was not of cor- 
responding avail. A year's service, even 
less, demonstrated that much of the 
equipment so carefully assembled and 
standardized soon became obsolete and 
inferior with respect to the rapid de- 
velopments that war conditions were 
bringing out for the Allies. 

While the Germans had trained men 
in their aviation corps the French, with 
perhaps some 31 airships of nonrigid or 
semirigid types and possibly 1200 mili- 
tary aeroplanes of different design, had 
fewer enrolled aviators at the outbreak 
of the war in actual service, but had 
a large number of expert civilians and 
their machines to call upon, so that 
soon there was organized a body of men 
whose equipment, both available and 
rapidly supplied, represented the note 
of progress ever peculiar to the French 
in this field. The organization and 
drill of the various units was done with 
remarkable military skill and care. 

Great Britain, distinctly inferior in 
organization and equipment as well as 
numbers, for its aeroplanes hardly to- 
taled 500, and its dirigibles but 15, at 
the beginning of the war endeavored 
speedily to repair these deficiencies, and 
while the defensive efforts to repel the 
Zeppelin raids were crowned with but 



moderate success, British aviators at 
the front and at sea achieved a good 
record. Russia with 16 small airships 
and perhaps 800 aeroplanes, many of 
which were in poor shape, suffered from 
an inadequacy of equipment, while in 
Austria and Italy from the outset aerial 
war was waged by both Powers with a 
fair degree of preparation. 

Aerial activity in war became not 
only important but indispensable under 
modern conditions, yet it did not have 
a direct and primary effect on the prog- 
ress of the war itself comparable, let 
us say, to the activity of the submarine. 
Indirectly the influence of air craft on 
warfare proved enormous, but four 
years of experience indicated that there 
was but little direct military advantage 
in the attempts at wholesale destruction 
of noncombatants, buildings, and ma- 
terial by aeroplane and dirigible, al- 
though in the summer of 1916 the dis- 
charge of high explosives on the Ger- 
man trenches aided considerably the at- 
tacks of the Allies. The numerous air 
raids over Great Britain resulted in 
little positive military advantage, and 
the "frightfulness" that they were to in- 
spire soon gave way to a feeling of 
intense irritation on the part of the in- 
vaded. That they were solely for the 
purpose of destruction by way of re- 
prisal or otherwise was not believed by 
many military and naval authorities, 
even British, who urged that the raids 
were a part of an elaborate and highly 
developed system of reconnoissance 
carried on in connection with naval 
operations, especially by submarines 
and raiding cruisers, with whom they 
were in communication through wire- 
less. Nevertheless these raids were of 
special significance, as they indicated 
future possibilities in the way of inva- 
sion and a menace tnat was ever at 
hand, and naturally they bulk large in 



AERIAL OPERATIONS 



209 



any history of the war. Accordingly it 
may be desirable to consider some of the 
more effective raids on the great cities 
and at considerable distances from home 
bases. 

Early in the war various places were 
attacked with bombs dropped from 
aeroplanes and dirigibles, and naturally 
such incidents aroused widespread in- 
terest for their novelty. At first some 
pretense was made to comply with Ar- 
ticle 25, Annex to Hague Convention, 
Oct. 19, 1907, which declared "The at- 
tack or bombardment, by whatever 
means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or 
buildings which are undefended, is pro- 
hibited." The addition of the words 
"by whatever means" was for the pur- 
pose of making it clear that the bom- 
bardment of these undefended places 
from balloons or aeroplanes was pro- 
hibited. This rule was ratified without 
reservations among other countries by 
Belgium, France, and Great Britain, as 
well as the United States, and with 
reservations by Germany, Russia, and 
Austria. The declaration (Oct. 18, 
1907) to prohibit "for a period extend- 
ing to the close of the Third Peace Con- 
ference the discharge of projectiles and 
explosives from balloons or by other 
new methods of a similar nature" was 
ratified among other nations by Great 
Britain, Belgium, and the United States. 
Germany, France, Austria, and Russia 
refused to ratify. 

It was claimed that cities like Paris 
and London were in reality fortified 
camps, or equivalent thereto, and as 
such were liable to attack without warn- 
ing; while if civilians were killed when 
towns supposed to contain supply sta- 
tions, railway centres, palaces, or head- 
quarters were bombed the injuries were 
to be considered incidental rather than 
intended. The raid of the Allies on 
Freib§rg, e.g., which was said to be un- 



fortified, was considered by the Ger- 
mans an act in violation of the rules of 
war and led to reprisals. The bombing 
of hospitals and buildings protected by 
Red Cross flags figured also in the 
charges and recriminations that these 
aerial attacks provoked. 

In the early weeks of the war a Zep- 
pelin dropped bombs over Antwerp, and 
at the end of August and on September 
1, 2, and 3, 1914, Taube monoplanes 
made daily visits to Paris, where, as in 
London, all street and other lights were 
extinguished and means hastily impro- 
vised to defend the city by searchlight 
and anti-aircraft guns as well as to or- 
ganize special fire-fighting facilities to 
deal with the results of incendiary 
bombs. On Oct. 11, 1914, another raid 
was made on Paris and bombs were 
dropped, some of which fell on the 
cathedral of Notre Dame, while others 
damaged streets, sewers, and the under- 
ground railway, besides causing the 
deaths of some three persons and in- 
juries to 14. In the meantime the aerial 
defense of the city was being developed, 
but on March 22, 1915, another raid 
was made on Paris, which, while result- 
ing in little damage, nevertheless em- 
phasized the need of a more complete 
system of defense. This was organized 
under General Hirschauer, former chief 
of the aeronautical department, and 
after it had been developed Paris was 
free from attack for many months. 
There was a system of central control 
with the battle front, aviation parks, 
and other stations connected by tele- 
phone, and frequent anti-aircraft bat- 
teries, many mounted on high-speed mo- 
tors, not to mention searchlight and 
observing stations equipped with micro- 
phonic detectors, were provided at care- 
fully chosen points. There were a num- 
ber of completely equipped aeroplane 
stations each ready to send aloft its 



210 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



complement of machines at a moment's 
notice. A patrol was maintained with 
the aeroplanes flying at different levels, 
drilled to intercept a hostile machine 
from both above and below. 

Naturally an air attack on the Brit- 
ish Isles was the goal aimed at by the 
Germans. Various reconnoissances were 
made by the Germans in connection 
with the flights on the western front 
and the observation of the British navy, 
but it was not until Dec. 5, 1914, that 
the reporting of a German aeroplane 
over Dover brought home to the British 
the reality of aerial danger. On Decem- 
ber 24, bombs were dropped on Dover, 
and the following day a German biplane 
dropping bombs near Chatham was en- 
gaged by three British machines and 
was driven down the Thames, presum- 
ably to its destruction, as later the body 
of a German aviator was found near 
the river mouth. But the first serious 
raid on Britain was on the evening of 
Jan. 19, 1915, and was directed against 
Yarmouth, Sandringham, and other 
points on the Norfolk coast. This raid 
evidently was designed to test the capa- 
bilities of the Zeppelins for extended 
service, yet even at the time it was 
thought by English naval critics to be 
for the purpose of securing informa- 
tion as to the British fleet and for pos- 
sible bomb dropping on shipyards and 
iron-works. This raid was but a begin- 
ning, for by June 1, 1915, the metro- 
politan section of London was reached 
and considerable damage was done, four 
lives being lost, while on June 6 another 
raid attended by casualties was made 
on the east coast of England, and again 
on June 15, on this last 16 persons be- 
ing killed and 40 injured. Little of this 
nature then happened, save for a raid 
on Harwich, until Aug. 9, 1915, when a 
raid in considerable force was made, 
and bombs were dropped on warships 



in the Thames, on London docks, on 
torpedo boats near Harwich, and on 
military posts on the Humber. This 
raid was the forerunner of the activity 
promised by Count Zeppelin in the pre- 
vious spring, when he stated that by the 
following August there would be avail- 
able 15 airships of a new type. The 
casualties of this raid, on which some 
five airships started, were stated at 25, 
about half of which were deaths, while 
a number of fires were set. 

Following this raid came one on the 
night of August 12 against Harwich, 
where 6 were killed and 17 wounded, 
while a squadron of 4 Zeppelins in an- 
other raid over the English east coast 
killed 10 and wounded 36 besides dam- 
aging various houses and other build- 
ings. This was the eighteenth raid on 
Great Britain, making a total of 85 
killed and 267 injured by bombs. The 
attacks of the Zeppelins reached per- 
haps a climax on September 8-9 when 
the heart of London was reached, and 
the Zeppelins flying over Trafalgar 
Square were distinctly visible from the 
street. The casualties of this raid were 
given as 20 killed, 14 seriously injured, 
and 74 slightly wounded, while the ma- 
terial damage was considerable. These 
raids continued during September over 
parts of the eastern counties. On Octo- 
ber 13-14 London was again attacked 
by Zeppelins, which, fearful of search- 
light and gunfire, flew very high with a 
corresponding effect on the accuracy of 
their bomb dropping. The roll of cas- 
ualties included 46 killed and 114 
wounded. For a few months now there 
was a lull in the aerial attacks on Great 
Britain, but the most serious raid came 
on the night of Jan. 31, 1915, when six 
or seven Zeppelins passed over the mid- 
land counties, dropping over 300 bombs 
and generally terrorizing the inhabi- 
tants, the aim being to strike a blow at 



AERIAL OPERATIONS 



211 



the industrial centres. Here 61 were 
killed and 101 injured, and the total 
number of the killed for 29 raids since 
the beginning of the war was %66. Be- 
ginning March 31, 1916, air raids were 
made over Great Britain for five suc- 
cessive nights and not only the eastern 
counties but even Scotland and the 
northeast coast were visited and bombs 
dropped. In one of these raids the 
Zeppelin L-15 suffering severely from 
gunfire was forced to descend and was 
captured by the British. 

The aerial defense of Great Britain 
came in for considerable criticism both 
within and without Parliament and un- 
favorable comparison with that main- 
tained in France was made, but there 
were fundamental differences in the na- 
ture of the problem. Paris was behind 
a carefully guarded military frontier 
and all approaches were by land, while 
Great Britain, surrounded by water and 
often enveloped in fog, presented a 
much better opportunity for attack 
given an aeroplane or airship that could 
maintain itself in air long enough for 
a sustained flight. Many Englishmen 
urged that too much had been done for 
defense and not enough in the way of 
offensive movements against the Zeppe- 
lins in their home ports and stations. 

Such raids as those described stand 
out apart from their actual military 
significance, but they must not be al- 
lowed to eclipse the daily routine and 
the ever-increasing number of frequent 
combats on all the battle fronts of this 
great war. What was remarkable at 
the beginning of the war, such as visits 
of the German Taubes to Paris in 
August, 1914, or the bomb dropping 
by a Zeppelin on Antwerp on September 
1, of the same year, soon became com- 
monplace as did the bombing of the Ger- 
man hangars at Dusseldorf and Cologne 
by the Allies later in the month. At- 



tacks on Friedrichshafen by the British 
and on Freiberg by the French fol- 
lowed, while a British raid on Cuxhaven 
on Dec. 25, 1914, was an early example 
of a number of aeroplanes working to- 
gether. Aerial attacks and reconnois- 
sances in force became more frequent, 
ever on a larger scale and with greater 
elaboration of organization as well as 
with more powerful and more heavily 
armed machines. To deprive the enemy 
of the services of aviators and machines 
and to prevent their use for purposes of 
advantage now became a prime military 
necessity with a direct bearing on oper- 
ations. Patrols were maintained more 
effectively, the service of security and 
information carried on daily in spite of 
hostile interference, while for the gun- 
ners in and behind the trenches ranges 
and directions were observed in the un- 
precedented bombardments that took 
place from time to time. Bombing 
raids by aeroplanes were organized on 
a large scale by the French especially 
with their heavier machines and many 
of these were very successful. While 
both sides continually lost many aero- 
planes in actual fighting, the Germans 
suffered severely with respect to their 
Zeppelins by accident as well as by gun 
fire. The first Zeppelin to succumb as 
the result of aeroplane attack was on 
June 7, 1915, when a Canadian aviator, 
Sublieut. R. A. J. Warneford, R.N., in 
a Morane monoplane encountered the 
German airship LZ-38 flying at a height 
of about 6,000 feet between Ghent and 
Brussels. Getting directly above the 
Zeppelin he was able to land a bomb 
squarely on the envelope so that the re- 
sulting explosion entirely destroyed the 
dirigible. There were further accidents 
to the German Zeppelins during the au- 
tumn and early winter of 1915, the Rus- 
sians destroying an airship by artillery 
fire near Kalkun on the Libau-Benin 



212 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Railway on December 5. Another 
notable achievement was the bringing 
down of the German naval Zeppelin 
LZ-77 by an incendiary shell from a 
77-mm. anti-aircraft gun of a French 
motor section at Brabant-le-Roi on Feb. 
21, 1916. The shell ignited the gas 
bag. On May 3 the naval Zeppelin 
L-W was forced to descend on the Nor- 
wegian coast where it was blown up to 
preserve neutrality, while on May 5 one 
Zeppelin was destroyed by gunfire from 
French warships over Saloniki and an- 
other by the British off the coast of 
Schleswig-Holstein. 

Along with the brilliant feats of in- 
dividual aviators there was developed 
a tendency towards tactical formations 
and the use of many machines. In 
August, 1915, at one occasion 84 
French aeroplanes were assembled for 
flight over the German lines, difference 
in speed and armament making possi- 
ble tactical dispositions of the great- 
est advantage. The Germans for a time 
had some machines of superior arma- 
ment and from August, 1915, heavier 
guns and armored aeroplanes figured 
and operations by flotillas became more 
general, these including the use of 
powerful bombing machines accom- 
panied by armored scouts for their pro- 
tection and swift flying machines for 
advanced reconnoitring. Air craft were 
also used at sea against warships and 
transports and in August, 1915, the 
Russians employed seaplanes against a 
German gunboat near Windau accom- 
panied also by a Zeppelin and two sea- 
planes. Aeroplanes were also in evi- 
dence in the south and east, for the 
Russians attacked Constantinople in 
August, dropping bombs on the harbor 
forts, and from this time both sides were 
in active aerial warfare until the close 
of the Dardanelles campaign. On 
August 10 the Russians brought sea- 



planes to bear in repelling the landing 
of German troops off the Gulf of Riga. 
Everywhere there was aerial activity 
and damage wrought by air craft, yet 
unavoidably this was accompanied by 
wholesale destruction of machines and 
losses of aviators. As samples of aerial 
attacks, and in fact but little more here 
can be attempted, mention may be made 
of the bombing of a poison gas plant 
at Dornach on Aug. 26, 1915, by a 
French aviator and a bomb attack on 
the royal palace at Stuttgart, a step 
it was announced taken in retaliation 
for German bomb dropping on unforti- 
fied towns and civilians. In every kind 
of operations air craft aided as at the 
battle in the attack on Artois Sept. 25, 
1915, when the British airmen were 
prominent, and later at Verdun in the 
spring of 1916. On the western front 
in April, 1916, French airmen brought 
down 31 hostile aeroplanes. On Octo- 
ber 3, a group of 19 French aeroplanes 
essayed an attack on Luxemburg, where 
the Kaiser had established head- 
quarters. 

In the south, Austrians were active 
against Italy, and bombing raids were 
made against Brescia, Verona, Venice, 
Udine, and other points, while the Ital- 
ians in turn made attacks on Austrian 
territory. On Nov. 28, 1915, occurred 
the first battle between British and Ger- 
man seaplanes near Dunkirk with dam- 
ages to both sides, while on November 
29 a British seaplane destroyed a Ger- 
man submarine off the Belgian coast. 
Typical of a day's work for the air- 
men may be mentioned the British War 
Office report of Dec. 19, 1915, which 
announced 44 combats in the air on 
the western front. In April, 1916, 
French airmen on the western front 
brought down 31 hostile aeroplanes, 
while in the struggle around Verdun 
aeroplanes of both sides were in con- 



AERIAL OPERATIONS 



213 



stant service. In the great drive of 
June and July, 1916, the Allies' aero- 
planes participated actively, and re- 
ports made mention of extraordinary 
effects attending the dropping of power- 
ful explosives on the trenches. The 
aeroplanes also made many raids in the 
rear. Airmen mostly French were ac- 
tive with the eastern army in the Bal- 
kans where the intense cold put many 
difficulties in their way. Around the 
Suez Canal the aeroplanes were invalu- 
able in supplying information of threat- 
ened movements. 

In 1916 everywhere there was in- 
creased aerial activity, a more active 
patrol service was maintained, and ac- 
tions were frequent and serious. At sea 
aeroplanes were searching out for sub- 
marines and scouting, and employment 
of airship and aeroplane before and in 
a large naval battle for scouting and 
reconnoissance in a manner and on a 
scale somewhat corresponding to their 
use on land found a notable opportu- 
nity in the great fight off Jutland on 
May 31, 1916. 

The year 1917 marked the ever-in- 
creasing importance of the aeroplane 
as a military asset. It has been called 
the eyes of the army and has lived up 
to this name more and more as the 
great battles of the year were fought. 
In the battle of the Somme and during 
the great German retreat General Haig 
depended on his air service to find out 
just what the Germans were doing and 
how far they had retreated. It ap- 
pears, however, that the Germans be- 
gan their movement without being dis- 
covered by the British. We find the 
aeroplane probably used to its greatest 
advantage in the spring and summer 
campaigns on the Italian front and dur- 
ing their retreat to the Piave. Fleets 
of 150 or more machines would fly low 
to the ground and drop bombs on form- 



ing troops, lines of communications, and 
munition dumps, or they would rake the 
enemy with machine gun fire. Some of 
the giant Caproni planes could carry 
without any difficulty 10 or more men. 
One of the interesting outgrowths of in- 
creased aerial activity was the develop- 
ment of the "camouflage" system. This 
means the covering of trenches, artil- 
lery and other things of military value 
with trees, painted scenes, etc., so that 
they could not be distinguished from 
the rest of the landscape from the air. 
These were of particularly great value, 
inasmuch as airplanes were compelled 
to stay 2 or 3 miles in the air as anti- 
aircraft guns were improved. 

England was the scene of many air- 
ship and aeroplane raids during 1917. 
The first one occurred on the night of 
March 16-17. The last one previous 
to this occurred in November, 1916. 
The southeastern counties were at- 
tacked with comparatively little ma- 
terial damage and no military damage 
whatever. On their return to home soil 
one Zeppelin was brought down near 
Compiegne by French anti-aircraft 
guns. The crew of 30 was killed. On 
May 7 German airplanes dropped 
bombs northeast of London without 
doing any damage. On the same day 
the Zeppelin L-22 was brought down in 
the North Sea by a British naval plane. 

Between May 23 and June 16, 1917, 
five aerial attacks were made on Eng- 
land. In almost all of these the Ger- 
mans used aeroplanes instead of Zeppe- 
lins. In one attack on May 25, 76 men, 
women, and children were killed and 174 
wounded. Three of the planes were 
shot down as they were homeward bound 
across the channel. Twenty German 
planes took part in the attack. On 
June 5, 16 planes bombarded the coast 
towns in Kent and Essex. Two more 
were shot down. They were unable to 



214 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



penetrate the outer defenses of London. 
The worst raid of the month was on 
June 13. It was carried out in broad 
daylight and resulted in the death of 
97 persons, of whom 26 were school 
children, and the wounding of 437. On 
June 16 two Zeppelins bombarded the 
Kentish Coast and killed 2 and wounded 
16. One of them was brought down in 
flames on British soil and the entire 
crew was killed. 

On July 4 another great raid was 
made on England. Eleven persons were 
killed and 36 injured at Harwich. Two 
German machines were lost. London 
was again attacked by a fleet of 20 air- 
planes which penetrated all the defenses. 
Thirty-seven people were killed and 141 
injured but the British Admiralty an- 
nounced that while the material damage 
was heavy the military damage was 
practically nothing. Eleven persons 
were killed and 26 wounded when two 
German aeroplanes dropped bombs on 
Felixstowe and Harwich on July 22. 
The Essex coast was raided on August 

12 with a loss of 23 lives and 50 in- 
jured. Two hostile machines were de- 
stroyed. On August 22 Yorkshire, 
Dover, Ramsgate, and Margate were 
raided, during which 11 were killed and 

13 injured. The Germans suffered heav- 
ily in this raid, losing 8 Gotha ma- 
chines. On September 3 bombs were 
dropped on the naval station at Chat- 
ham, killing 108 and wounding 92. On 
the moonlight night of September 4, 
11 were killed and 62 hurt in a raid on 
London. 

Raids were made by German airmen 
on England on September 24, 25, 29, 
30, and October 1. As a result of these 
52 were killed and 216 injured. The 
Germans carried them out with scarcely 
any loss to themselves, British reports 
only claiming to have destroyed two 
machines. One of the most disastrous 



raids from the German point of view 
was made on the night of Oct. 19, 1917. 
At least 11 Zeppelins participated and 
on their way home, five were lost in 
French territory. One was captured 
undamaged at Bourbonne-les-Bains. 
Twenty-seven were killed and 53 
wounded as a result of this raid. On 
October 31, 30 aeroplanes attacked 
London, but only three got through the 
defenses. Eight were killed and 21 in- 
jured. On December 6, 25 Gotha 
planes attacked London, killing 10 and 
injuring 31. On December 18, 20 aero- 
planes raided Kent, Essex, and London 
and killed 10 and wounded 70. In 
these last two raids, three planes were 
forced to descend, and their crews were 
taken prisoners. A careful compilation 
of British government reports shows 
that from the beginning of the war to 
Jan. 1, 1918, 616 persons had been 
killed and 1,630 wounded. 

The consensus of opinion among the 
Allied nations was that these raids were 
of no military value and were merely 
another form of Germany's "frightful- 
ness." Public opinion in England and 
France demanded reprisals, but for 
physical reasons the governments re- 
fused to heed the popular clamor. In- 
stead they gave their attention to the 
aerial bombardment of purely military 
centres such as the submarine bases at 
Ostend and Zeebrugge and the Krupp 
works at Essen. France made one or 
two spasmodic attempts to retaliate by 
bombarding towns in Alsace and Lor- 
raine, but they met with comparatively 
little success. 

It would be impossible in a work of 
this kind to attempt to describe the 
engagements in the air over the battle- 
fronts. Hundreds of them occurred 
every week and few of them stood out 
more than others for daring, success, 
etc. So far a method of tactical war- 



AERIAL OPERATIONS 



215 



fare had not been evolved by either of 
the belligerent sides. The engagements 
were mostly individual, even when the 
machines travelled in groups. To give 
an idea of the aeroplane's activities, it 
was officially reported that on the west- 
ern front alone 717 machines were 
brought or driven down in April, 1917, 
713 in May, 467 in July, and 704 in 
September. Accurate figures are not 
available for the losses on the other 
fronts. 

With the entrance of the United 
States into the war it was felt that as 
soon as her resources were available the 
supremacy of the air would pass once 
and for all to the Entente Allies. She 
devised the standardized "Liberty Mo- 
tor" which was supposed to contain the 
best points of all the foreign aeroplanes 
in one engine. 

The verdict of three years' use of 
aeroplanes and airships confirmed in the 
main previous theory and prediction. 
The aeroplane demonstrated itself an 
important and essential element of mod- 
ern warfare both on land and sea. The 
airship, which in the hands of the Ger- 
mans increased vastly in efficiency as 
the war progressed and was found 
valuable for oversea scouting and recon- 
noissance and bomb dropping, may 
cause damage, serious and costly ; but 
that it contributed anything worth 
while to the settlement of the war or 
greatly affected its progress or outcome 
was not proven by three years of use 
in 1914-17. As regards relative tech- 
nical or military advantage by Janu- 
ary, 1918, it was more difficult to say. 
The aerial services of the Allies in or- 
ganization and extent had developed to 
a greater degree than those of the Teu- 
tonic Powers and had become more effi- 
cient with ever-improved machines and 
heavier armament, but throughout the 
war German and Austrian aviators 



fought most valiantly, and the limited 
success achieved by the Zeppelins was 
due to their inherent nature rather than 
to unskillful operation. 

On the nights of January 21 and 24, 
1918, British aviators carried out suc- 
cessful raids over Belgium and in Ger- 
man Lorraine, dropping bombs on 
Mannheim, Treves, Saabriicken, Thion- 
ville. During the month of Janu- 
ary the Germans and Austrians were 
particularly active in carrying raids 
over the Italian lines. Treviso and 
Mestre were bombarded on January 
26 ; Venice, Padua, Treviso, and Mestre, 
on February 4 and 6, and on the latter 
date Calliano and Bassano were also 
bombed. The Italian war office an- 
nounced that between January 26 and 
February 7, sixty-six enemy aircraft 
had been brought down in the battles 
over the Italian lines. On the night 
of February 6, an Italian airman 
dropped a ton of explosives on the 
enemy aviation grounds at Motta di 
Livenza. 

London was attacked on the night of 
January 28 and 58 persons were killed 
and 173 wounded. Another raid the 
next night killed 10 and injured the 
same number. On the 30th, Paris was 
heavily bombarded, in the course of 
which 45 persons were killed and 207 
wounded. During a raid on Venice on 
February 26, the Churches of Santa 
Giustina, San Simeone, Piccolo, and St. 
John Chrysostom were badly damaged. 
Naples was attacked on March 11. 
This resulted in the killing of 16 and 
the injuring of 40. 

The British bombarded Mainz on 
March 9, 1918, Stuttgart on March 
10, Coblenz on the 12th, Freiburg on 
the 13th, Zweibriicken on the 16th, and 
Kaiserslauten on the 13th. As a result 
of these raids fires and explosions were 
caused in munition plants and motor 



216 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



works, which were the objectives of the 
British airmen. 

A raid on Paris on March 8, 1918, 
resulted in the death of 13 and the in- 
juring of 50. Another raid which oc- 
curred on March 11 caused the death 
of 34 and the injuring of 79. Four 
German machines were brought down 
and 15 Germans killed or captured. 
On February 16 a raid on London re- 
sulted in the death of 11 and the in- 
juring of 4. A second raid was made 
on the next night and 15 killed and 38 
wounded were the casualties. For the 
third successive night the Germans at- 
tempted to raid London on the 18th but 
were driven off without doing any dam- 
age. On March 7, 11 persons were 
killed and 46 injured as a result of an- 
other raid over London. The Germans 
raided the northeast coast on March 
13, killing 5 and injuring 9. This sec- 
tion was raided again on April 12 and 
5 persons were killed and 15 injured. 

Italian aviators cooperating with the 
Allies on the Western Front, bombed 
Metz on March 17 and 23, 1918, and 
raided the railway station at Thionville 
on the night of March 24. Paris was 
again the objective on April 12, when 
26 were killed and 72 wounded. Ital- 
ians raided Pola, Trent, and Trieste 
on May 10, and British forces cooper- 
ating with them attacked the aviation 
grounds at Campo Maggiore (May 4) 
and destroyed 14 Austrian machines. 

On May 3, 1918, the British bom- 
barded Karlshutte and on May 16 
brought down five German machines 
during an attack on Saarbriicken. 
British seaplanes attacked Ostend, 
Westende, and Zeebrugge successfully 
on May 6. As an example of the strug- 
gles occurring in the air over the tre- 
mendous battles raging in France it 
might be noted that on one day the 
British brought down 55 German ma- 



chines and on another 46. London was 
again attacked on May 19, with a cas- 
ualty list of 44 killed and 179 wounded. 
The British succeeded in bringing down 
five German airplanes. Paris was at- 
tacked on May 22 and 23, and June 1 
and 2. These raids were very ineffective, 
only 4 persons being killed. In each 
instance the Germans were driven off 
before they were able to reach the city. 
One German machine was brought down. 
Fourteen persons were killed and 40 in- 
jured as a result of an Allied air raid 
over Cologne on May 18. Raids were 
carried out by the Allies over railway 
stations in Lorraine and on a factory 
in Mannheim on May 21 and 22. The 
railway station was destroyed and 26 
persons were killed in Liege on May 26. 
On the night of June 1 and for the 
following two weeks numerous raids 
were carried out over the German bor- 
der towns with the hope of destroying 
the German supply lines which were 
feeding the military machine in France. 
On May 21, the British announced that 
more than 1,000 German machines had 
been brought down within the two pre- 
ceding months. 

On June 14, 1918, the first American 
bombing squadron to operate behind the 
German front raided the Baroncourt 
Railway and returned safely. A second 
raid was carried out the same day when 
Conflans was attacked. The Germans 
continually, during this period, carried 
out raids on Allied hospitals behind 
the lines despite the fact that they were 
clearly marked. Hundreds of men, 
women and children were killed or 
wounded. The Germans gave as the 
reason for this that the Allies were ac- 
customed to locate their ammunition 
dumps in the neighborhood of the hos- 
pitals so as to make them immune from 
attack. This charge was emphatically 
denied by the Allies. Paris was bom- 



AERIAL OPERATIONS 



217 



barded on June 26 and 27 and again 
on July 1. As in the previous raids 
very little damage was done and the 
loss of life was very slight. 

On June 25 and July 5, 15, and 16, 
1918, British aviators attacked Saar- 
briicken, Karlsruhe, Offenburg, Mann- 
heim, Thionville, and Coblenz. Several 
direct hits were scored on railways, 
munition factories, and chemical plants. 
Six tons of explosives were dropped on 
Bruges, Ostend and Zeebrugge by 
British naval aircraft between July 4 
and 7. Buildings and vessels were 
struck. According to the British offi- 
cial report for the year ending June 
30, 1918, British aviators had brought 
down 4,102 enemy aircraft and had lost 
1,121 machines. Naval airmen had 
brought down 623 planes and had lost 
1,094 machines. On July 17, the Ger- 
mans announced that during the month 
of June 33 air raids had been made by 
the Allies over German towns, which re- 
sulted in the death of 34 persons and 
the severe wounding of 37. 

German Zeppelins appeared again in 
the role of raiders on the night of 
August 5, 1918, when they made an at- 
tempt to raid the east coast of England. 
One machine was brought down 40 miles 
at sea, another was damaged, and the 
third was compelled to return. On the 
12th, a Zeppelin was destroyed off the 
English coast. It fell in flames. On 
August 1, many tons of bombs were 
dropped on the railway stations of 
Stuttgart and Coblenz. A considerable 
amount of material damage resulted. 
Karlsruhe was successfully attacked on 
August 11, and the chemical and air- 
plane works at Frankfurt were directly 
hit in the course of a raid on the 12th. 

Eight Italian airplanes flew across 
the Alps to Vienna and dropped litera- 
ture all over the city. Vienna was more 
than 600 miles from their base and all 



except one returned safely. That one 
was compelled to land on account of 
engine trouble. Gabriele d'Annunzio 
was in command of the squadron. The 
Allies bombarded Constantinople on 
July 27. The first American-built ma- 
chines carried out a successful flight 
over the German lines early in August. 
On September 2, fifteen tons of bombs 
were dropped over the Rhine towns by 
Allied aviators, and on the 15th, seven- 
teen more tons were dropped over the 
Lorraine front. During the three days 
of September 14, 15 and 16 more than 
eighty-seven tons of bombs were 
dropped over Metz and nearby cities. 
Venice was attacked on August 22, 
Padua on August 25, and Paris on Sep- 
tember 16. The loss of life was com- 
paratively small and the property loss 
slight. 

On the night of October 9, 1918, an 
expedition of more than 350 planes 
bombarded many towns in the American 
sector, with the loss of only one man. 
American activity in the Argonne sec- 
tor was particularly noticeable. Dur- 
ing a six-month period before the sign- 
ing of the armistice it is estimated that 
the American fliers brought down over 
five hundred planes with a loss of about 
seventy. 

During the war the air raids on Eng- 
land caused the death of 1,570 people 
and the injury of 3,941. Of these 
4,750 were civilians. One hundred and 
ten raids were carried out by airships 
and airplanes. 

Estimated Participants and Casual- 
ties. The following facts and figures 
are taken from the New York Times 
Current His tori/ Magazine and were 
collected from official data, or where 
that was not obtainable from official 
estimates. These figures, compiled just 
shortly after the close of the war, are 
subject to slight change owing to new 



218 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



lists being prepared and changes made 
in old ones. For example, the casualty 
list of the United States is nearer to 
300,000 than the figures given in the 
table. The estimated number of men 
mobilized by the Allies was 40,256,864 
as compared with 19,500,000 for the 
Central Powers. Of these more than 
7,000,000 were killed or died as a result 
of the war; 20,000,000 were wounded, 
of which 6,000,000 are permanently in- 
jured. In addition to those killed di- 
rectly in the war more than 100,000 
were killed by submarines or mines, etc., 



on the high seas, or by air raids, or in 
the devastated regions. In addition to 
the military deaths it was estimated 
that over 9,000,000 people lost their 
lives indirectly as a result of the war. 
This figure includes 4,000,000 Ar- 
menians, Syrians, Jews, and Greeks 
massacred or starved by the Turks ; 
4,000,000 deaths beyond normal mor- 
tality of influenza and pneumonia, in- 
duced by the war; and 1,085,441 Ser- 
bian dead through disease or massacre. 
The following table is taken from the 
above mentioned magazine. 



MOBILIZED STRENGTH AND CASUALTY LOSSES OF THE BELLIGERENTS 

United States and Associated Nations 

Prisoners 

Nation Mobilized Dead Wounded or 

Missing 

United States 4,272,521 67,813 192,483 14,363 

British Empire 7,500,000 692,065 2,037,325 360,367 

France 7,500,000 1,385,300 2,675,000 446,300 

Italy 5,500,000 460,000 947,000 1,393,000 

Belgium 267,000 20,000 60,000 10,000 

Russia . 12,000,000 1,700,000 4,950,000 2,500,000 

Japan 800,000 300 907 3 

Rumania 750,000 200,000 120,000 80,000 

Serbia ' " ... 707,343 322,000 28,000 100,000 

Montenegro 50,000 3,000 10,000 7,000 

Greece ' 230,000 15,000 40,000 45,000 

Portugal ."".".".".'. '.'.'.'. 100,000 4,000 15,000 200 

Total 39,676,864 4,869,478 11,075,715 4,956,233 

Central Powers 

Germany 11,000,000 1,611,104 3,683,143 772,522 

Austria-Hungary 6,500,000 800,000 3,200,000 1,211,000 

Bulgaria 400,000 201,224 152,399 10,825 

Turkey 1,600,000 300,000 570,000 130,000 

Total 19,500,000 2.912,328 7,605,542 2,124,347 

Grand Total 59,176,864 7.781,806 18,681,257 7,080,580 



Total 
Casualties 

274,659 

3,089,757 

4,506,600 

2,800,000 

90,000 

9,150,000 

1,210 

400,000 

450,000 

20,000 

100,000 

10,000 

20,892,226 



6,066,769 

5,211,000 

264,448 

1,000,000 

12,542,217 
33,434,443 



VII. ALLEGED ATROCITIES 



Throughout the territories occupied 
by the Germans destruction of towns 
and villages and farmhouses occurred 
regularly. The usual explanation given 
was that it was done as a punishment. 
The punishment might be for a civilian's 
shooting at a soldier ; the village har- 
boring a spy; or a failure to meet a 
requisition, or something else. With 
these pillagings, numbers of the inhabi- 
tants were shot. The innocent suffered 
with the guilty. 

Diaries taken from German soldiers 
show that pillaging was carried on ex- 
tensively, the soldiers being allowed to 
drink to excess. The pamphlet entitled, 
"German Treatment of Conquered 
Territory," issued by the Committee on 
Public Information tells of the experi- 
ences of a certain count and countess. 
When war broke out they were caught 
in their chateau by the first onrush of 
troops and nothing happened besides 
the emptying of their wine cellars. 
When the second wave came along there 
was another demand for wine, but as 
the whole supply had been carried away 
they could not comply with the demand. 
The Germans were not convinced and 
made a thorough search of the cellars, 
but could find no wine. Still convinced 
that they were being fooled the count 
and countess were confined for three 
days and then brought out and stood 
before a firing squad and threatened 
with death unless they told where the 
wine was hidden. At the critical mo- 
ment a German princeling who had 
visited them often arrived and on ap- 
pealing to him he ordered their release. 
On their return to their chateau thev 



found the German soldiers packing up 
porcelains and enamels to be shipped to 
Germany. They again appealed to the 
prince, who told them that the soldiers 
could not be prevented from taking 
away little souvenirs, but if they would 
pack all the pieces they valued most in 
a wardrobe he would do the rest. When 
the countess was through packing the 
prince asked her whether she was sure 
that all the best pieces had been packed 
away, and when she answered that they 
had been put in the wardrobe, he turned 
to his orderly and said : "Have the 
wardrobe sent to Berlin for me." 

The German authorities systemati- 
cally exploited Belgium and other lands 
conquered by them. This was done with 
the deliberate purpose of crippling 
manufacturing and industry in these 
countries to forestall future competi- 
tion. This is the so-called "Rathenau 
Plan" suggested early in August, 1914, 
by Dr. Walter Rathenau, President of 
the General Electric Co. of Germany, 
and was to "work out the very difficult 
and new problem of arranging that 
there should be no want of raw ma- 
terials for the conduct of the war and 
the economic life of the nation. . . . 
It was necessary to make use of the 
stocks of raw materials of these three 
territories (Belgium, France, Russia) 
for the domestic economy of the war 
. . . the difficulties that are met with in 
keeping to the rules of war while mak- 
ing these requisitions have been over- 
come. ... A system of collecting sta- 
tions, of depots and of organizations 
for distribution was arranged which 
solved the difficulties of transportation, 



219 



220 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



infused new blood into industry at home 
and gave it a firmer and more secure 
basis." (Quotations from lecture by 
Dr. Rathenau.) 

In a protest sent to the State Depart- 
ment by the Federation of Belgian Steel 
and Iron manufacturers the statement 
is made that a certain firm had the con- 
tract for removing machinery from con- 
quered territory to Germany and to 
pick out those machines which seemed 
most useful for manufacture of Ger- 
man war supplies and to propose seizure 
of such machinery. All kinds of ma- 
chinery was removed and those which 
could not be removed were destroyed by 
hammers and dynamite. 

From October, 1914, to March, 1917, 
no less than 92 separate ordinances of 
the General Government commanding 
the declaration, forced sale, or confis- 
cation of various materials. These in- 
clude only those issued by the Governor 
General and do not include forced sales 
ordered by officials of separate bureaus. 

Germany needed vast stocks of metal 
for the conduct of the war and to fill 
this need every scrap of metal that 
could be seized in the conquered coun- 
tries was confiscated. Decrees were 
issued ordering the inhabitants to de- 
clare amounts of certain articles in 
their possession. Failure to comply 
with these decrees was punished by fine 
and imprisonment. German manufac- 
tures were aided by the German gov- 
ernment in obtaining trade secrets from 
the Belgians. 

Belgium. Shortly after the occupa- 
tion of Belgium by the Germans, re- 
ports began to reach the outside world 
of shocking atrocities alleged to have 
been committed by the German army 
during the invasion and subsequent oc- 
cupation of the country. To ascertain 
if possible, whether these reports were 
true, the government of Great Britain 



appointed a commission of prominent 
English statesmen and jurists headed 
by Viscount Bryce to investigate the 
matter. Depositions of more than 
1,200 persons were considered by the 
committee. From the evidence accumu- 
lated the commission reached the fol- 
lowing conclusions: 

1. That there were in many parts 
of Belgium deliberate and systematically 
organized massacres of the civil popu- 
lation, accompanied by many isolated 
murders and other outrages. 

2. That innocent men, women and 
children in large numbers were mur- 
dered and women violated. 

3. That looting, house burning and 
wanton destruction of property were 
ordered and countenanced by the offi- 
cers of the German army. 

4. That women and children were 
used as a shield for advancing military 
forces. 

The pamphlet issued by the Commit- 
tee on Public Information entitled 
"German War Practices" bears out the 
conclusions drawn by the commission 
headed by Viscount Bryce. Minister 
Whitlock in his report (September 12, 
1917) to the Secretary of State reports 
that summary executions took place in 
Diriant. There was no semblance of a 
trial. The wives and children of the 
victims were forced to witness the exe- 
cutions. He also states that in several 
cases massacres occurred where men, 
women and children were killed without 
distinction as to age. 

Diaries found on dead and wounded 
soldiers and prisoners tell of the slaugh- 
ter of defenseless persons in which they 
themselves took active part or wit- 
nessed. Some of these diaries indicate 
that their writers had no choice in the 
matter but had to obey the orders given 
them. 

The Germans also imposed fines and 



ALLEGED ATROCITIES 



221 



made levies on the territory under their 
control on the least pretext. Requisi- 
tions for supplies out of all proportion 
to the resources of the country were 
levied. One small village of 1,500 in- 
habitants was fined 500,000 francs be- 
cause glass was found on the road and 
the Germans claimed that this had been 
placed there purposely so as to disable 
the automobiles used by the Germans. 

The Germans adopted the policy of 
requiring municipalities to give hos- 
tages for the good conduct of inhabi- 
tants of the town and as a guarantee 
that all orders or regulations issued 
by the military commander would be 
carried out. These hostages were se- 
lected from among the prominent peo- 
ple of the town. Any violation of regu- 
lations, or attacks made upon German 
soldiers or disorder would lead to the 
punishment of these hostages, which 
punishment generally was shooting. 
No account was taken of the people 
who caused the disorders. They might 
very well be the hoodlum class, but that 
made no difference. 

Another practice adopted by the Ger- 
mans was to force Belgian civilians to 
walk in front of German columns when 
advancing to attack. The Belgians 
naturally were afraid to fire for fear of 
shooting their own flesh and blood. In 
one case where the Germans had taken 
refuge in a church and had taken with 
them a number of Belgian women and 
children so that they would not be fired 
upon the Belgian women sent a boy out 
during the night with word to the 
Belgians to fire on the church, for they 
preferred death at the hands of their 
friends rather than the indignities to 
which they were subjected. 

During the war the German govern- 
ment adopted the deliberate policy of 
deporting men and women, boys and 
girls and of forcing them to work for 



their captors. Often they were com- 
pelled to make arms and munitions for 
use against their . allies and their own 
flesh and blood. Workingmen were im- 
prisoned and otherwise punished for re- 
fusing to work in the arsenals. Depor- 
tations began in October, 1917, in the 
district under martial law and at Ghent 
and at Bruges, and soon spread all over 
Belgium. The scenes at these deporta- 
tions were horrible. The wives were 
not permitted to bid their husbands 
good-bye or to give them warm cloth- 
ing for the trip, as usually the men were 
called together without any intimation 
that they were going to be deported and 
had no extra clothes with them. Pro- 
tests were sent by Cardinal Mercier and 
various municipalities. The German 
attitude is expressed in the answer to 
the resolutions of the Municipal Coun- 
cil of Tournai by Major-General Hop- 
fer, the Commandant. He said that the 
military authorities order the city to 
obey. If it does not it will be severely 
punished. About 100,000 were de- 
ported. The United States government 
made formal protest (December 5, 
1916). The Pope, the King of Spain, 
and the government of Switzerland also 
protested against these forced deporta- 
tions as against all international law 
and humanity. 

In answer to these charges the Ger- 
man government issued a memorandum 
specifying the acts of civilians in Bel- 
gium, in violation of the rules of war. 
They claimed that civilians shot at Ger- 
man soldiers from private houses and 
mutilated wounded Germans, and that 
these acts justified the German military 
authorities in their acts of reprisal. 
Throughout the war there had been 
various aerial attacks on hospitals, and 
to the protests of the Allies the Ger- 
mans answered that these hospitals were 
always placed near huge ammunition 



222 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



dumps and that the hospitals were 
merely cloaks to shield them. To the 
protest against the forced deportations 
of inhabitants of the occupied terri- 
tories the Germans answered that great 
numbers of able bodied laborers were 
living in idleness and as food was scarce 
in these areas it was necessary to send 
them far to the rear of the lines where 
food was cheaper and more plentiful. 

Great resentment was aroused in 
England by the action of the German 
military authorities in executing Miss 
Edith Cavell,* an English nurse, who 
was accused of utilizing her position to 
assist in the escape of Belgian, French, 
and British soldiers from Belgium. 

Another incident which caused con- 
siderable adverse criticism of the Ger- 
man government was the case of Car- 
dinal Mercier,f Archbishop of Malines 
and Roman Catholic Primate of Bel- 
gium. After a trip through the devas- 
tated parts of Belgium he wrote a pas- 
toral letter describing the conditions 
which he had found. In passionate 
words he set forth the evidence of ruined 
villages, churches, schools, and monas- 
teries destroyed. Efforts were made by 
the German authorities to suppress the 
letter, and the Cardinal was put under 
restraint, although not actually im- 

* Edith Cavell was head of a nurses' train- 
ing school in Brussels; as a nurse did much for 
German as well as Allied soldiers in European 
War. The American Minister, Brand Whit- 
lock, made every effort to have her life spared. 
The execution roused England and France and 
was commented on throughout the United 
States. A notable memorial service was held 
at St. Paul's, London, and a statue of Miss 
Cavell by Sir George Frampton was to be 
erected adjoining Trafalgar Square. 

f Mercier, Desire Joseph, Cardinal. Born 
(1851) at Braline-l'Alleud, Belgium. Edu- 
cated at Malines, Paris and Leipsic. Became 
priest (1874); taught philosophy (1877-82); 
Archbishop of Malines and Primate of Bel- 
gium (1906); Cardinal (1907). Founded and 
edited Revue Neoscolastique. Wrote on meta- 
physics, philosophy, and psychology, several 
of his works translated into other languages. 
Most important work Les Origines de la 
psychologie contemporaine (1897). 



prisoned by the German Governor of 
Belgium, Von Bissing. J In answer to 
a protest made by the Pope the German 
authorities stated that all restraints 
upon the Cardinal's freedom of com- 
munication with the clergy had been 
removed. 

Armenia. The governments of 
France, Russia, and Great Britain is- 
sued the following joint note on May 
23, 1915 : "For the past months Kurds 
and the Turkish population of Armenia 
have been engaged in massacring Ar- 
menians with the help of the Ottoman 
authorities. Such massacres took place 
about the. middle of April at Erzerum, 
Dertshau, Moush, Zeitun, and in all 
Cilicia. The inhabitants of about 100 
villages near Van were all assassinated. 
In the town itself the Armenian quar- 
ter is besieged by Kurds." The preach- 
ing of a holy war soon after this in- 
creased the massacres to such an extent 
that the Armenian paper Mshak esti- 
mated that only 200,000 of the race 
still remained in the country, out of a 
total of 1,200,000 at the beginning of 
the war, and that 850,000 had been 
killed or enslaved by the Turks and 
200,000 had migrated to Russia. The 
United States placed an informal re- 
quest before the German Ambassador, 
asking that the German government at- 
tempt to alleviate the conditions of the 
Armenians. An informal reply said 
that the Armenian reports were greatly 
exaggerated. Charges of barbarous 
cruelty were laid before the Sublime 
Porte by the American Ambassador, 
Morgenthau. Turkey filed counter 
charges at Washington, stating that 
Russian troops, aided by Greeks and 

% Moritz Ferdinand, Baron von Bissing, 
born (1844) at Bellmansdorf ; rose to be lieu- 
tenant general (1897) and general of cavalry, 
commanding the Seventh Army Corps; after 
invasion of Belgium by the Germans was ap- 
pointed Military Governor of the country. 



ALLEGED ATROCITIES 



223 



Armenians, had committed acts of 
cruelty against Moslems in the Cau- 
casus region, and that continual revo- 
lutions incited by the Allies were oc- 
curring in Armenia. 

Despite joint diplomatic protests 
Turkey continued her atrocities against 
the Armenians with practically un- 
abated zeal down to the close of the 
war. Germany repeatedly refused to 
interfere in any way whatsoever, claim- 
ing that she had no control over the 
internal government of the Turks. Al- 
though this is scarcely in accordance 
with the facts in the case, many writers 
believe that the reason Germany did not 
intervene was because she feared to 
estrange Turkey from the Central 
Powers. The horrible acts committed 
against the Armenians caused many of 
the latter to form themselves into 
guerilla bands. The acts of retaliation 
of these few unorganized avengers gave 
the Turks what they considered a logi- 
cal reason for the continuation of the 
Armenian massacres and other acts of 
violence and lust. 

Poland. At the outbreak of the war 
Germany, Austria, and Russia at- 
tempted to gain the loyal support of 
the entire Polish nation by promises of 
the reestablishment of the old Polish 
Kingdom^ Poles fought against each 
other in the hopes that a united Poland 
would result. In the great German 
drive into eastern Russia Poland was 
crushed and the inhabitants suffered 
untold hardships. As the Russians re- 
treated they compelled the Poles to 
abandon their homes for military rea- 
sons. Any villages that escaped the 
Russians were almost invariably de- 
stroyed by the Germans. It is esti- 
mated that at least 20,000 villages were' 
wiped out and that over 200 towns were 
completely destroyed. In the Gorlice 
district the Polish Relief Victims' Fund 



estimate that during the 18 months' 
campaign 1,500,000 noncombatants, 
caught between the contending armies, 
perished from hunger and disease. The 
Rockefeller Foundation reported that 
the entire civilian population faced a 
famine. The poorer classes were found 
to be existing in many cases on meat- 
less soup and a crust of bread. There 
was no fuel to be had and many were 
frozen to death during the winter of 
1915-16. Attempts were made to feed 
the Polish sufferers through an Ameri- 
can committee, but Germany and Great 
Britain could not agree as to method. 

The atrocities committed by the Ger- 
mans were similar to those committed 
by them in Belgium and in France. 
From a statement prepared by Frederic 
C. Walcott (September, 1917) for the 
pamphlet on "German War Practices" 
issued by the Committee on Public In- 
formation the following facts may be 
gleaned: In Warsaw the German gover- 
nor issued a proclamation that all able- 
bodied men were to go to Germany to 
work. Those refusing to go were not 
to be given anything to eat. Persons 
failing to comply with this regulation 
would be dealt with according to Ger- 
man military law. After the war ended 
and the downtrodden Poles secured their 
freedom and independence serious 
charges were made against them in cer- 
tain Allied quarters, maintaining that 
the new Polish government was directly 
responsible for the carrying out of 
pogroms against the Jews. Paderewski, 
the Polish President, vigorously denied 
this and invited an Allied Commission 
to visit his country and examine condi- 
tions there. 

Serbia. The conditions in Serbia 
were practically similar to those in 
Poland. Villages and towns were wiped 
out in the face of the German drive 
through the Balkans. After the first 



224 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



drive of the Austrians into Serbia fever 
epidemics broke out all over the coun- 
try. It is presumed to have been caused 
by the congestion of all the rural popu- 
lation in the urban districts as a result 
of the war. Hundreds died daily, and 
in many places it was impossible to bury 
all the victims. Physicians were sent 
to Serbia by the Allies and hospital 
units were made up in the United States 
and sent over. Cholera also broke out 
among the noncombatants after the 
German drive. It was caused by the 
shortage of food and the bad sanitary 
conditions, the people being forced to 
herd together and to live in the open. 
It is estimated that over 600,000 non- 
combatants died as a result of the 
plague and from hunger. 

France. The procedure here was 
identically as in Belgium. The system 
of forced labor and deportations was 
duplicated. All its attendant horrors, 
brutalities, and callousness were there. 
In the districts of Tourcoing and Rou- 
baix and the City of Lille deportations 
were made. Probably about 30,000 
were deported. The reason given was 
that food supplies were short and if 



people were deported some distance be- 
hind the lines they could receive better 
care where food is more abundant and 
cheaper. Notices were posted for volun- 
teers to come and when few appeared 
the Germans resorted to forced depor- 
tations. All people with the exception 
of children under fourteen and their 
mothers, and also of old people, were 
required to prepare themselves for 
transportation in an hour and a half's 
time. Each person was permitted to 
take not more than 30 kilograms of 
baggage with him. 

In the retreat from northern France 
in the spring of 1917 wanton destruc- 
tion occurred. Great stretches of ter- 
ritory were turned into dead country. 
No village or farmhouse was left stand- 
ing; no railway track or embankment 
left; trees including fruit trees were de- 
stroyed and wells blown up. The pur- 
pose of the Germans seems to have been 
to turn France into a desert so that for 
years to come France would be unable 
to compete commercially and indus- 
trially with Germany. The ruined re- 
gion in France begins about forty miles 
north of Paris. 



VIII. DESTRUCTION OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE 



The great war saw the destruction or 
mutilation of many of the landmarks of 
Europe in the field of art and architec- 
ture. Charges and countercharges were 
made by the belligerents of deliberate 
attempts to destroy these. The de- 
struction of a large part of the city of 
Louvain, including its church of St. 
Pierre, the University of Louvain, and 
its library of rare books and manu- 
scripts, aroused much feeling in all civil- 
ized countries. 

The German official explanation for 
the destruction of Louvain as given to 
the Secretary of State of the United 
States was that the Belgian government 
had organized an insurrection of the 
people against the army. Stores of 
arms had been established. Interna- 
tional law permits people to organize 
to repel an enemy, but arms must be 
openly carried. Louvain had surren- 
dered and the population had aban- 
doned all resistance. The city had al- 
ready been occupied by German troops. 
Nevertheless the population attacked 
troops entering the city. This was 
proved to have been planned long before 
it took place. Weapons were not car- 
ried openly and women and girls took 
part in the attack and gouged out the 
eyes of wounded German soldiers. The 
intensity of the attack is shown by the 
fact that it took twenty-four hours for 
the troops to overcome resistance. The 
city was destroyed in large part by the 
conflagration which broke out after the 
explosion of a convoy of benzine, which 
was caused by shots fired during the 
battle. The Imperial Government de- 
plored the action which was not inten- 



tional, but was unavoidable. The Ger- 
man soldiers were conciliatory and 
therefore must have had provocation. 
The Belgian people and the Belgian 
government must bear the responsibility. 

The Belgian Minister for Foreign 
Affairs gave (August 28, 1914) the 
following account of the events leading 
to the destruction of the city. German 
soldiers who had been driven back in 
the evening retreated in disorder on 
Louvain. The German soldiers who 
were guarding the town, who mistook 
them for Belgians, fired upon them. 
The German authorities pretended that 
Belgians had fired on the soldiers, al- 
though the inhabitants and the police 
had been disarmed for more than a week 
and the commandant ordered the de- 
struction of the town. All the inhabi- 
tants were ordered to leave the town. 
The splendid Church of St. Pierre, the 
markets, the university and its scientific 
establishments were destroyed. 

Minister Whitlock gives the following 
version of events: A violent fusillade 
broke all over the city, German soldiers 
firing at random in every direction. 
Later fires broke out everywhere, nota- 
bly in the University building, the Li- 
brary, and the Church of St. Peter. On 
the orders of chiefs German soldiers 
broke open houses and set them on fire, 
shooting inhabitants who tried to leave 
buildings. The Germans made the usual 
claim that civilian population had fired 
on them and it was necessary to take 
these measures and that General von 
Luttwitz told him that a general had 
been shot by the son of the burgomas- 
ter. But the burgomaster had no son 



225 



226 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



and no officer had been shot. This was 
the repetition of a tragedy that had oc- 
curred at Aerschot. But if the shoot- 
ing had been done on such large scale 
surely there must be convincing evi- 
dence. But no evidence is given beyond 
that a soldier had asserted: Man hat 
geschossen. 

The case of Louvain figured largely 
in the American press, but it was only 
one of numerous similar instances where 
towns and villages containing gems of 
art and architecture had been burned 
and many of their inhabitants shot be- 
cause they had resisted invaders. 

The beautiful cathedral of Rheims, 
dating from the thirteenth century, 
suffered irreparable damage from re- 
peated German bombardments. The 
Germans, in explanation of the first 
bombardment, maintained that the 
French had established an observation 
post in its tower. It is doubtful if the 
exquisite carvings, statuary, and 
stained glass windows can ever be re- 
placed. Another city to suffer was 
Ypres. Its famous Cloth Hall was 
seriously damaged during the heavy 



bombardments of the Flanders cam- 
paign. 

In France the Chateau of Avricourt 
was destroyed by the Germans. This 
is one of the class of buildings covered 
in the international agreements between 
civilized nations safeguarding historic 
buildings. For many months it had 
been the home of Prince Eitel, the sec- 
ond son of the Kaiser. In spite of the 
protests of many of his officers, who 
said that his acts would bring disgrace 
to the German name, he had the historic 
objects in the chateau carried away. 
Then he himself set fire to the building 
and to make sure that it would be com- 
pletely destroyed he had it blown up by 
dynamite. 

There was constant danger to archi- 
tecture of historical interest from the 
frequent aerial attacks on cities. For 
example, during an Austrian raid on 
Venice bombs fell on the Scalzi Church. 
The ceiling, which was ornamented with 
beautiful sculpture of Tiepolo, was 
crushed. Historic landmarks of Lon- 
don and Paris narrowly escaped damage 
from Zeppelin raids. 



IX. NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 



A war involving all of the great in- 
dustrial nations of Europe was certain 
to have far-reaching effects upon all 
neutral nations. The complete disloca- 
tion of international trade and the clos- 
ing of all the great stock markets of the 
world gave rise to financial and eco- 
nomic problems which were absolutely 
unprecedented. After the first shock 
the business interests gradually ad- 
justed themselves to the new conditions. 
But soon it became apparent that prob- 
lems far more serious than those pro- 
duced by the temporary disturbance 
caused by the outbreak of the war con- 
fronted the neutral nations. To the 
questions of neutral trade, contraband 
and blockade, which had arisen in pre- 
vious wars, there were added new and 
more vexing problems due to the intro- 
duction of new methods of warfare, es- 
pecially the operation of the submarines. 
United States. As the largest and 
most important of the neutral Powers, 
the United States was sure to be vitally 
affected. This country was looked to 
by the smaller neutral nations to cham- 
pion the interests of all neutrals. 
Moreover, it was certain that the 
United States would be called upon to 
furnish large quantities of supplies to 
the belligerent Powers. Each of the 
belligerents would be anxious to avail 
themselves of this source of supply, and 
each in turn would strive to prevent 
their opponents taking advantage of it. 
Under these conditions the situation 
which confronted the United States au- 
thorities in attempting to maintain 
strict neutrality was a trying one, and 
the problem was made more difficult by 



the attitude of groups of persons in this 
country whose sympathies were with 
one or the other of the belligerents in 
Europe. The following are the most 
important questions which arose involv- 
ing the United States and the various 
European Powers. 

Blockade and Neutral Trade. — Dur- 
ing the early months of the war Great 
Britain established her complete con- 
trol of the seas, except in so far as it 
was interrupted by the operations of 
the German submarines. That Great 
Britain would take full advantage of 
her sea power was to be expected, and 
that in so doing serious difficulties 
would arise in regard to the rights of 
neutral nations was also clear. In the 
first place there was the always vexed 
question of contraband. There was no 
Hague Convention which dealt with the 
question of conditional and absolute 
contraband. As the Declaration of 
London was declared by Great Britain 
not to be in force, the question had 
to be determined by the general rules 
of international law. But upon this 
question there was no general agree- 
ment among the nations. Belligerent 
Powers naturally wished to extend the 
list of contraband, while neutral Powers 
quite as naturally wished to restrict it. 

A more serious and difficult question 
affecting neutrals arose, due to the pe- 
culiar geographical position of Ger- 
many. On two sides the country was 
bounded by neutral Powers which 
touched the sea. Through Holland and 
the Scandinavian countries contraband 
might be shipped from the United States 
or other neutral countries to Germanv 



227 



228 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



and thus nullify England's sea power. 
The problem which confronted Great 
Britain was to prevent contraband ar- 
ticles from reaching Germany, while at 
the same time not to interfere with 
legitimate trade between neutral coun- 
tries. Shortly after the outbreak of 
hostilities Great Britain began detain- 
ing American ships bound for neutral 
ports on the ground that their cargoes 
were destined for the enemy. For some 
months the United States government 
did not protest, hoping that Great 
Britain would modify her policy. 
Finally on Dec. 26, 1914, the United 
States addressed a communication to 
Great Britain, calling attention to the 
interference by the latter with American 
commerce with neutral nations, on the 
ground that goods so consigned might 
reach the enemies of Great Britain. 
The United States authorities contended 
that "mere suspicion was not evidence 
and doubts should be resolved in favor 
of neutral commerce, not against it." 
To this note Great Britain replied on 
Jan. 7, 1915, that that country had not 
aimed to interfere with the bona-fide 
trade of the United States with neutral 
countries, but figures were given show- 
ing the marked increase in exports of 
such articles as rubber and copper from 
the United States to neutral countries 
contiguous to Germany. It was stated 
that with such figures the presumption 
was very strong that such goods were 
ultimately destined for a belligerent 
country. The note further stated that 
Great Britain was prepared to admit 
that foodstuffs should not be seized 
without the presumption that they were 
intended for the armed forces of the 
enemy. In regard to the placing of cot- 
ton on the list of contraband it was 
stated that the British government had 
not contemplated any such action. 
In conclusion the British government 



agreed to make reparation for any in- 
jury improperly done to neutral ship- 
ping. 

A novel question arose from the ac- 
tion of the German government in plac- 
ing under government control all of the 
food supply of the Empire. The Brit- 
ish government declared that it would 
be impossible under these conditions to 
distinguish between food intended for 
the civilian population of Germany and 
food to be used by the German military 
forces. In view of this situation the 
British government stated that food- 
stuffs intended for consumption in Ger- 
many would be considered contraband. 

For some months after the outbreak 
of the war Great Britain hesitated to 
declare a blockade of German ports. 
This attitude was due, in part at least, 
to the recognized difficulty of rendering 
such a blockade effective, in view of 
the geographical position of Germany, 
and of the activities of submarines. 
But events forced Great Britain to 
abandon her somewhat anomalous po- 
sition. On March 1, 1915, Mr. As- 
quith announced in the House of Com- 
mons that Great Britain and France, 
in retaliation upon Germany for her 
declaration of the "War Zone" around 
the British Isles (see below), would con- 
fiscate all goods of "presumed enemy 
destination, ownership, or origin." 
Such action, of course, could only be 
justified under the existing rules of in- 
ternational law on the presumption that 
a lawful blockade of German ports had 
been declared. In answer to an inquiry 
from the American government as to 
whether such a blockade was contem- 
plated the British government stated 
that as an effective "cordon control- 
ling intercourse with Germany had been 
established and proclaimed, the impor- 
tation and exportation of all goods to 
or from Germany was, under the ac- 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 229 



cepted rules of blockade, prohibited." 
The British government further de- 
fined the radius of activity of the French 
and British fleets in enforcing the block- 
ade as European waters including the 
Mediterranean. It was further stated 
that they would refrain from exercis- 
ing the right to confiscate ships and 
cargoes for breaches of the blockade, 
and restrict their claim to stopping 
cargoes destined to or coming from the 
enemy's territory. 

In an extended communication ad- 
dressed to the British government by 
Secretary Bryan on March 30, 1915, 
attention was called to the unusual 
character of the proposed blockade and 
the interference with legitimate neutral 
commerce which might readily result. 
The United States government was will- 
ing to concede that the changed condi- 
tions of naval warfare, especially the 
operations of submarines, might justify 
some modification of the old form of 
close blockade, but it was unwilling to 
concede the right of belligerents to 
blockade neutral ports. It was further 
pointed out that alleged illegal acts of 
Germany could not be offered as an 
excuse for unlawful acts on the part of 
Great Britain. In conclusion it was 
stated that the German Baltic ports 
were open to the trade of the Scandi- 
navian countries, although it is an es- 
sential element of blockade that it bear 
with equal severity upon all neutrals. 

For some months the question was 
allowed to remain in abeyance, because 
more serious questions had arisen in 
connection with Germany's submarine 
warfare. {See belozv.) It was clear, 
however, that irritation at the con- 
tinued interference by Great Britain 
with American commerce was constantly 
increasing. On Aug. 3, 1915, the State 
Department at Washington published 
five diplomatic communications which 



had been exchanged between the two 
governments relating to the detention 
of American ships and cargoes. In re- 
sponse to the American note of March 
30, 1915, on the subject of the restric- 
tions imposed on American commerce 
by the British Orders in Council, Sir 
Edward Grey defended the Orders on 
the ground that it was necessary for 
Great Britain and her Allies to take 
every step in their power to overcome 
their common enemy in view of the 
shocking violation of the recognized 
rules and principles of civilized warfare 
of which she had been guilty during the 
present struggle. He further denied 
that the Orders in Council violated any 
fundamental principle of international 
law by applying a blockade in such a 
way as to cut off the enemy's commerce 
through neutral ports, "if the circum- 
stances render such an application of 
the principles of blockade the only 
means of making it effective." It was 
contended that the only question that 
could arise in regard to the new char- 
acter of blockade was whether the 
measures taken conform to "the spirit 
and principles of the essence of the 
rules of war" as stated in the Ameri- 
can note of March 30, 1915. Sir Ed- 
ward Grey contended that there was 
precedent for the British policy in the 
position taken by the United States 
during the Civil War. In order to pre- 
vent contraband being shipped from 
neighboring neutral territory to the 
Confederacy the Federal government en- 
forced the doctrine of the continuous 
voyage and goods destined for enemy 
territory were intercepted before they 
reached the neutral ports from which 
they were to be reexported. Such ac- 
tion, moreover, was upheld by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States in 
the case of the Springbok. The main 
argument of the British government was 



230 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



that when the underlying principles 
governing blockade and contraband are 
not violated it is permissible to adopt 
new measures of enforcement. 

To this contention the United States 
replied with a vigorous note on Oct. 
21, 1915. It was stated that the so- 
called blockade instituted by the Allies 
was "ineffective, illegal and indefen- 
sible," that the "American government 
cannot submit to a curtailment of its 
neutral rights and that the United 
States must insist that the relations be- 
tween it and His Majesty's government 
be governed, not by a policy of expedi- 
ency, but by those established rules of 
international conduct to which Great 
Britain in the past has held the United 
States to account." 

This note did not have the effect of 
forcing Great Britain to modify her 
blockade policy. On the contrary 
Great Britain served notice, on March 
30, 1916, that thereafter the doctrine 
of continuous voyage would be applied 
to vessels carrying conditional contra- 
band as well as to those carrying abso- 
lute contraband. 

On April 25, 1916, the British gov- 
ernment made an extended reply to the 
protest of the United States. It was 
contended that the practices complained 
of were "judicially sound and valid" 
and that the relief neutrals sought was 
to be obtained by mitigation of neces- 
sary hardships rather than "by abrupt 
change either in theory or application 
of a policy based upon admitted prin- 
ciples of international law carefully ad- 
justed to the altered conditions of mod- 
ern warfare." The note further stated 
that "an impartial and influential com- 
mission" had been appointed to find 
ways to minimize delays and pledged 
the Allies to make their restraints as 
little burdensome as possible. In re- 
gard to the complaint that the methods 



adopted by the Allies in intercepting 
neutral trade had not hitherto been 
employed by belligerents, it was an- 
swered that "new devices for dispatch- 
ing goods to the enemy must be met by 
methods of intercepting such trade." 
In particular it was pointed out that 
modern conditions, such as the size of 
the steamships, and the methods of con- 
cealing contraband, made it no longer 
feasible to search ships at sea and justi- 
fied sending vessels into port for search. 

At great length the note discussed 
the question of proofs of the destina- 
tion of contraband. As in a previous 
note it was contended that figures issued 
by the United States Department of 
Commerce showed that exports from the 
United States to the Scandinavian coun- 
tries had increased threefold since the 
outbreak of the war, and there was 
strong reason to believe that much of 
this increase was not bona-fide neutral 
trade. It was pointed out that large 
consignments of meat had been made 
to such persons as dock laborers, 
lightermen, bakers, etc., and it was ob- 
vious that such consignments were sub- 
terfuges. In view of these facts it was 
contended that "no belligerent could in 
modern times be bound by a rule that 
no goods could be seized unless they 
were accompanied by papers which es- 
tablished their destination to an enemy 
country. To press such a theory is 
tantamount to asking that all trade be- 
tween neutral ports shall be free, and 
would thus render nugatory the exercise 
of sea power and destroy the pressure 
which the command of the sea enables 
the Allies to impose upon their ene- 
mies." 

The note finally denied the statement 
made by the United States government 
that the blockade was ineffective. It 
was stated that it is doubtful if there 
had ever been a blockade where the ships 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 231 



which slipped through bore such a small 
proportion to those intercepted. 

In 1916 another cause of dispute 
arose between Great Britain and the 
United States. On July 18 the British 
government published a blacklist of 82 
American firms and individuals under 
the Enemy Trading Act, which forbid 
any business dealings between them and 
British citizens. On July 28 the United 
States protested that it was "inconsis- 
tent with that true justice, sincere amity 
and impartial fairness which character- 
ize the dealings of friendly countries 
with one another." Britain replied that 
the act concerned only its government 
and citizens and left the American 
names on the blacklist. 

This note did not bring the questions 
at issue, between the United States and 
Great Britain, any nearer to a settle- 
ment. It was evident that while Great 
Britain was anxious to adopt a con- 
ciliatory policy in dealing with neutral 
commerce, she was unwilling to concede 
the principle for which the United 
States contended, viz., that trade be- 
tween the United States and neutral 
countries should not be interfered with. 

Use of Neutral Flags. — Early in the 
year 1915, the German government 
made representations to the government 
of the United States that British ships 
were making use of neutral flags in or- 
der to escape capture. Particular at- 
tention was called to the action of the 
captain of the British steamer Lusi- 
tania in raising the United States flag 
when approaching British waters, and 
it was stated that orders had been issued 
by the British government to all com- 
manders to make use of neutral flags 
when necessary. On Feb. 10, 1915, the 
United States government addressed a 
note to the British government calling 
attention to this matter. Without dis- 
puting that in exceptional cases there 



was precedent for the use of neutral 
flags by merchant vessels to escape cap- 
ture, it was pointed out that any gen- 
eral use of the American flag for such 
purposes would endanger American 
ships, by raising the presumption that 
they are of belligerent nationality. In 
answer to this the British government 
stated, on Feb. 19, 1915, that English 
law allowed the use of the British flag 
by foreign merchant vessels in order to 
escape capture, that instances were on 
record of United States vessels making 
such use of the English flag during the 
American Civil War, and that it would 
be unreasonable to deny to British ves- 
sels at the present time a similar privi- 
lege. It was stated, however, that the 
British government had no intention of 
advising their merchant shipping to use 
foreign flags as a general practice. 

Interference with Mail. — A deter- 
mined protest was also made by the 
United States government against the 
interference by Great Britain with neu- 
tral mail in transit between neutral 
ports. It was contended that under 
The Hague Convention postal corre- 
spondence on the high seas is inviol- 
able. To this protest the British gov- 
ernment replied that this provision was 
not intended to cover the shipment of 
contraband by parcel post, and in or- 
der to prevent such shipment Great 
Britain would insist upon the right to 
examine mail packages on the high 
seas. 

Submarine Warfare and the War 
Zone. — The European War witnessed 
for the first time the use of the sub- 
marine on a large scale in naval war- 
fare. It was evident that the introduc- 
tion of this new weapon would give rise 
to a number of novel questions. The 
frail construction of these boats makes 
them an easy prey, if seen, for war- 
ships or even for unarmed merchant- 



232 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



men which might sink the submarines' 
by ramming them. These conditions, 
it was contended, make it necessary for 
the submarines to attack quickly and 
without warning. Furthermore the old 
method of capture by which a prize 
crew was placed on the captured ves- 
sel could hardly be followed by the 
submarines as the size of the crew was 
small and could not be spared for this 
purpose. The only feasible method of 
disposing of vessels captured by sub- 
marines was to sink them. But this 
raised the question of the safety of 
passengers and crew. The established 
rules of international law required that 
merchant vessels could not be sunk, un- 
less they attempted to escape, until 
provision was made for the safety of 
passengers and crew. The United 
States first became involved in the is- 
sue when on February 4, 1915, Ger- 
many declared the waters around the 
British Isles a war zone after Febru- 
ary 18, 1915. It declared its inten- 
tion of sinking every enemy merchant 
ship found in the zone even if it was 
impossible to save the crew and pas- 
sengers. It also stated that neutral 
ships entering the war zone were in 
danger. 

The United States government 
promptly took notice of this proclama- 
tion, and on February 10, 1915, sent 
a communication to the German gov- 
ernment calling attention to the seri- 
ous difficulties that might arise if the 
policy contemplated were carried out, 
and declaring that it would hold the 
German government to a strict ac- 
countability if any merchant vessel of 
the United States was destroyed or 
citizens of the United States lost their 
lives. In reply to this note the German 
government stated on February 18, 
1915, that, in view of the illegal meth- 
ods used by Great Britain in prevent- 



ing commerce between Germany and 
neutral countries, even in articles which 
are not contraband of war, the Ger- 
man government felt justified in using 
all means within its power to retaliate 
on England. Complaint was made of 
the large quantities of munitions of 
war which were being sent to Great 
Britain, and it was stated that Ger- 
many intended to suppress such traf- 
fic with all means at its disposal. Fin- 
ally, it was suggested that, in order to 
avoid mistakes, all American vessels 
carrying noncontraband through the 
war zone should travel under convoy. 

In order to avoid, if possible, the 
very serious consequences of the pro- 
posed German naval policy, the govern- 
ment of the United States addressed an 
identical note to Great Britain and 
Germany suggesting an agreement be- 
tween these two powers respecting the 
conduct of naval warfare. The memo- 
randum contained the following sug- 
gestions: (1) That neither power 
should sow floating mines on the high 
seas or in territorial waters, and that 
anchored mines should be placed only 
in cannon range of harbors for defen- 
sive purposes, and that all mines should 
bear the stamp of the government 
planting them, and be so constructed 
as to become harmless when separated 
from their anchors. (2) That neither 
should use submarines to attack the 
merchant vessels of any nationality, 
except to enforce the right of visit 
and search. (3) That each should re- 
quire their merchant vessels not to use 
neutral flags for purposes of disguise. 

The note further suggested that the 
United States government designate 
certain agencies in Germany to which 
foodstuffs from the United States 
should be sent, and that the German 
government guarantee that such food- 
stuffs be used for noncombatants only. 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 233 



Great Britain was requested to agree 
not to put foodstuffs on the list of ab- 
solute contraband, and that ships of 
foodstuffs sent to the designated con- 
signees in Germany should not be inter- 
fered with. 

Nothing of practical importance 
came from these suggestions. Germany 
replied, accepting some and rejecting 
others, while Great Britain reviewed 
the alleged violations of international 
law and defended the stoppage of food- 
stuffs destined for Germany as a legiti- 
mate incident of the blockade. 

Thus matters rested pending the 
first case in which an American vessel 
should be sunk or American lives lost. 
On March 28, 1915, news was received 
that the British steamship Falaba had 
been sunk and that among those lost 
was an American citizen, Leon C. 
Thrasher. Accounts differed as to the 
actions of the steamship when called 
upon by the commander of the sub- 
marine to stop. The German govern- 
ment defended the action on the ground 
that the Falaba had attempted to es- 
cape after being warned, and that, 
upon being overhauled, ten minutes had 
been allowed for the crew and the pas- 
sengers to take to the lifeboats before 
the vessel was torpedoed. While this 
case was still under consideration by 
the United States government, it was 
reported that the American vessel 
Cuslving had been attacked by a Ger- 
man aeroplane in the English Channel 
on April 29, 1915, one bomb being 
dropped on the ship which caused some 
damage but no loss of life. Within 
two days word was received that the 
American steamer Gulflight had been 
attacked by a German submarine off 
the Scilly Islands on May 1. Two 
members of the crew and the captain 
died. For history of this case see sec- 
tion, Sinking of the Lusitania. 



The submarine controversy took a 
new turn, when the Deutschland, a 
commerce-carrying submarine, entered 
the port of Baltimore on July 9. The 
question immediately arose as to her 
status. The British and French em- 
bassies made strong protests about her 
being allowed to enter an American 
port, claiming that she was potentially 
a war vessel. The State Department 
announced on July 15 that the sub- 
mersible would be considered a mer- 
chantman. It further stated that she 
could not be turned into a war vessel 
without radical changes in her con- 
struction. Consequently she returned 
to Bremen. She later- completed the 
round trip again, her port of arrival 
in the United States being New Lon- 
don, Conn. 

The entire world was startled on 
January 31, 1917, when Germany an- 
nounced to neutral countries that all 
restrictions on submarine warfare were 
to be removed and that a new policy 
of ruthless undersea activity was to be 
carried on in an attempt to bring Eng- 
land into a state of submission. In the 
note sent to the United States Ger- 
many stated that "the attempt of the 
four Allied Powers (Germany, etc.) to 
bring about peace has failed, owing to 
the lust of conquest of their enemies, 
who desired to dictate the conditions 
of peace. . . . To the wish of con- 
ciliation they oppose the will of de- 
struction. They desire a fight to the 
bitter end. . . . 

"In brutal contempt of internation- 
al law, the group of powers led by 
England does not only curtail the legi- 
timate trade of their opponents but 
they also, by ruthless pressure, com- 
pel neutral countries either altogether 
to forego every trade not agreeable to 
the Entente Powers or to limit it ac- 
cording to their arbitrary decrees. 



234 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Thus British tyranny mercilessly in- 
creases the sufferings of the world; in- 
different to the laws of humanity, in- 
different to the protests of neutrals 
whom they severely harm, indifferent 
even to the silent longing for peace 
among England's own Allies. Each 
day of the terrible struggle causes new 
destruction, new sufferings. Each day 
shortening the war will, on both sides, 
preserve the life of thousands of brave 
soldiers and be a benefit to man- 
kind. . . . 

"After attempts to come to an un- 
derstanding with the Entente Powers 
have been answered by the latter with 
the announcement of an intensified 
continuance of the war, the Imperial 
government — to serve the welfare of 
mankind in a higher sense and not to 
wrong its own people — is now com- 
pelled to continue the fight for exist- 
ence, again forced upon it, with the full 
employment of all the weapons which 
are at its disposal." 

Accompanying this note were two 
memoranda which described the new 
war zones and the conditions under 
which American ships might sail. The 
entire coasts of England and France 
were included in the zone as well as the 
coastline controlled by the Allies in the 
Mediterranean Sea. Entrance to Eng- 
land was along a narrow lane 20 
miles wide leading to the port of Fal- 
mouth. A similar lane was mapped out 
for approach to Greece. Traffic of 
regular American passenger steamers 
was permitted if they followed a cer- 
tain course and bore certain distin- 
guishing marks, laid down by the Ger- 
man government. 

The publication of the note in the 
United States brought forth a storm 
of protest and demanded immediate ac- 
tion. President Wilson addressed Con- 
gress on the 3d of February concern- 



ing the situation. He gave a brief 
sketch of the relations between his gov- 
ernment and Germany over the sub- 
marine controversy and stated that the 
latter had broken its pledges, and in 
accordance with his principles laid 
down in the Sussex case (see Question 
of Armed Merchantmen) he conclud- 
ed, "I have therefore directed the Sec- 
retary of State to announce to His 
Excellency the German Ambassador 
that all diplomatic relations between 
the United States and Germany are 
severed and that the American Ambas- 
sador at Berlin will be immediately 
withdrawn." Then followed a period of 
suspense in which the American gov- 
ernment was apparently awaiting an 
overt act before taking any further 
measures. Popular indignation was 
aroused when several vessels, carrying 
American citizens, were torpedoed, but 
no one of them constituted the overt 
act. 

The President's action was univer- 
sally and enthusiastically commended. 
To a large portion of the people there 
came with it a sense of relief at the ter- 
mination of the intolerable situation, 
resulting from the efforts of the coun- 
try to maintain a position of neu- 
trality in the face of continual out- 
breaks on the part of Germany, and 
an almost general sympathy with the 
cause of the Allies. The governors of 
many States at once sent messages to 
the President assuring him that he 
would receive their hearty and undi- 
vided support. The President's stand 
was approved by his predecessor, Mr. 
Taft, and his recent rival for the 
Presidency, Mr. Hughes. 

Colonel Roosevelt at once volun- 
teered to raise a division of troops, if 
war should be declared, and announced 
his intention of going to the front with 
his four sons. William J. Bryan was 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 235 



the only prominent opponent of the 
policy of maintaining American rights 
at sea if necessary by war. He sug- 
gested a postponement of the question 
until after the end of the war. He 
also declared that Americans should be 
forbidden to travel on belligerent ships, 
and that American ships should be for- 
bidden to enter the war zone. He fa- 
vored the submission of the question of 
war or peace to a popular referendum. 

In Congress the support of the 
President was practically unanimous. 
Attention was at once given to the con- 
sideration of measures already intro- 
duced imposing heavy penalties on per- 
sons guilty of offenses against the 
neutrality of the United States. 

In the harbors of the country, espe- 
cially in New York and Boston, there 
had been interned, since the outbreak 
of the war, a large number of German 
merchant ships, including several of 
the largest vessels in commission. Pos- 
session was at once taken of these ves- 
sels by the American authorities, not, 
however, in many cases, before they 
had been seriously damaged by their 
former crews under orders from the 
German government. 

The government authorities took 
charge of the wireless station at Say- 
ville, Long Island, which, during the 
war, had been the most important 
means of rapid communication be- 
tween Germany and the United States. 
All diplomatic representatives from 
Germany, including consuls and con- 
suls' agents, were directed to return 
home at once. 

Measures were at once taken by all 
the government agencies to prepare for 
the war which seemed now inevitable. 
The Council of National Defense took 
up plans for the mobilization of the 
industrial forces of the country, and to 
consider the offers of many manufac- 



turers who had placed their plants at 
the disposal of the government. The 
Naval Consulting Board, under the 
presidency of Thomas A. Edison, began 
the consideration of new methods of 
dealing with submarines. Efforts to en- 
list 25,000 recruits for the navy were at 
once begun. The President and his 
cabinet began the preparation of meas- 
ures to be introduced into Congress to 
meet the emergency. 

The State Department forwarded to 
the American representatives in neu- 
tral countries the announcement of the 
severance of diplomatic relations with 
Germany, adding these instructions: 
"Say also that the President is reluct- 
ant to believe that Germany actually 
will carry out her threats against neu- 
tral commerce, but, if it be done, the 
President will ask Congress to author- 
ize the use of the national power to 
protect American citizens engaged in 
their peaceful and lawful errands on 
the sea. He believes it will make for 
the peace of the world if other neutral 
powers may find it possible to take 
similar action." 

The Senate, on February 7, 1917, 
passed a resolution, by a vote of 78 to 
5, approving "the action taken by the 
President as set forth in his address 
delivered before the joint session of 
Congress." 

On the same day in which this reso- 
lution was passed the first passenger 
steamer, since the promulgation of the 
German edict, fell a victim to the Ger- 
man blockade about the British Is- 
lands. This was the steamer Califor- 
nia, of the Anchor Line, on her way 
from New York to Glasgow. She was 
hit by a torpedo and from the explo- 
sion which followed five persons were 
killed, thirty-six others were drowned, 
including three women and two chil- 
dren. 



236 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The tension which followed the sev- 
erance of diplomatic relations increas- 
ed as the days went on. On the same 
day on which diplomatic relations were 
severed, the American steamship Hou- 
satonic was sunk by a German sub- 
marine, after warning had been given. 
All on board were saved. Following 
the destruction of the California, came 
the loss of the two British steamers, 
the Japanese Prince and the Montola, 
which were sunk without warning by a 
German submarine. On board the 
Japanese Prince were thirty Amer- 
ican cattlemen who were all saved. On 
board the Montola was an American 
doctor. The Lyman M. Law, an 
American sailing vessel loaded with 
lumber, on her way from Maine to 
Italy, was sunk by a submarine off 
the coast of Sardinia. Seven of the 
crew were Americans. The attack 
was made without warning, and after 
the crew had left, a bomb was placed 
on board and the ship was destroyed. 
Much more serious was the destruc- 
tion, on February 25, of the Cunard 
liner Laconia, which was torpedoed in 
the Irish Sea at night. Three Amer- 
ican passengers, two of whom were 
women, died from exposure in an open 
boat while the survivors were making 
their way toward shore. While pub- 
lic feeling grew more intense day by 
day, the President remained silent. 
Germany, in the meantime, made ten- 
tative proposals through the Swiss 
minister, to reopen negotiations with 
the American government. It may be 
noted here, however, that these over- 
tures were bluntly refused by the Sec- 
retary of State. 

As we have already noted, upon the 
rupture of diplomatic relations, the 
State Department notified Ambassador 
Gerard in Berlin to ask for his pass- 
ports. At this time Mr. Gerard was 



occupied in negotiating with the Ger- 
man government for the release of six- 
ty-two American prisoners taken from 
ships sunk by a German raider in the 
South Atlantic, and taken to a German 
port on one of the captured vessels, the 
British steamer Yarrowdale. As these 
men were neutrals Germany had no 
right to hold them. The German gov- 
ernment, however, undertook to take 
advantage of the situation to obtain 
concessions from the American govern- 
ment. Ambassador Gerard, in the days 
immediately following the severance of 
relations, was subjected to many in- 
dignities by the German authorities. 
His mail was intercepted, his telephone 
cut off, and telegraphic facilities denied 
him. Efforts were made also to force 
him to sign a protocol revising the 
treaties of 1799 and 1828 with the ef- 
fect of protecting Germans and their 
interests in the United States in the 
event of war. 

Mr. Gerard was finally permitted to 
leave Berlin February 10, 1917. Amer- 
ican affairs in Germany were placed in 
the hands of the Spanish Ambassador. 
On February 14, Count von Bernstorff 
sailed for Germany on a Danish steam- 
er, guarantees having been obtained 
from the Allied countries that he would 
have safe conduct. 

The Yarrowdale prisoners, after 
various delays, were finally released on 
March 8, 1917. The reason for their 
detention, as given by the German of- 
ficials, was the desire to ascertain the 
attitude to be taken toward German 
subjects in the United States. 

The attitude of the German-Amer- 
icans in this crisis had been awaited 
with some anxiety. As a class these 
men were emphatic in expressing their 
determination to uphold the hands of 
the American government. The Ger- 
man-American National Alliance at a 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 237 



meeting of delegates from twenty-eight 
States held in Philadelphia, adopted 
resolutions, pledging loyalty to the gov- 
ernment in peace and war. There was 
also a rush of applicants for naturali- 
zation on the part of these residents. 
Certain conspicuous members of the 
German-American Alliance, however, 
identified themselves with the pacifists, 
and favored submitting the question of 
war to a national referendum. 

Samuel Gompers, president of the 
American Federation of Labor, prom- 
ised that the members and officials of 
the federation would be united in the 
support of the government. Woman 
suffrage organizations also offered their 
services in any fields where they might 
be found useful. In the colleges and 
universities throughout the country the 
training of students for the various 
branches of the military and naval ser- 
vice was at once begun. 

On February 26, President Wilson 
again went before Congress and re- 
quested "that you will authorize me to 
supply our merchant ships with defen- 
sive arms should that become necessary, 
and with the means of using them, and 
to employ any other instrumentalities 
or methods that may be necessary and 
adequate to protect our ships and our 
people in their legitimate and peaceful 
pursuits on the seas." 

In the meantime the House of Repre- 
sentatives was working on the largest 
naval appropriation bill in the history 
of the country. The bill which finally 
passed the House by a vote of 353 to 
23, on February 12, appropriated 
$363,553,338.07. The bill also gave 
to the President the power to comman- 
deer shipyards and munition plants "in 
time of war or national emergency." 
One million dollars was appropriated to 
acquire basic patents for an aeroplane 
suitable for government work. The 



Emergency Act passed on March 4 gave 
the President the following powers : 
"(1) . . . to place an order with any 
person for . . . war material as the 
necessities of the government . . . may 
require, and which are . . . capable of 
being produced by such person. (2)' 
... to modify or cancel any existing 
contract for the building, production, 
or purchase of . . . war material ; and 
if any contractor shall refuse . . . the 
President may take immediate posses- 
sion of any factory of such character. 

(3) To require the owner or occupier of 
any factory in which . . . Avar mate- 
rial are . . . produced to place at the 
disposal of the United States the whole 
or part of the output of such factory. 

(4) To requisition or take over for use 
or operation by the government any 
factory or any part thereof, . . . 
whether the United States has or has 
not any contract . . . with the own- 
er . . ." 

The Mexican Note. — On March 1, 
there appeared in the newspapers of 
the country a most sensational disclos- 
ure of an intrigue between Germany and 
Mexico. The statement was issued on 
the authority of Secretary of State 
Lansing. This note dispelled from the 
mind of the public any hope that we 
might still keep out of actual warfare. 
The note was dated January 19, 1917, 
and was sent to Herr von Eckhardt, 
who was the German Minister to Mex- 
ico. It stated in part: "On the 1st 
of February we intend to begin sub- 
marine warfare unrestricted. In spite 
of this it is our intention to endeavor 
to keep neutral the United States of 
America. If this is not successful, we 
propose an alliance on the following 
basis with Mexico : That we shall make 
war together and together make peace. 
We shall give general financial support, 
and it is understood that Mexico is to 



238 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



reconquer the lost territory in New 
Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. The de- 
tails are left to you for settlement . . . 
suggest that the President of Mexico, 
on his own initiative, should communi- 
cate with Japan suggesting adherence 
at once to this plan. At the same time, 
offer to mediate between Germany and 
Japan." . . . This note caused wide- 
spread amazement and indignation 
throughout the entire country. Japan 
hastened to affirm in no uncertain tones 
that she had absolutely nothing to do 
with the whole affair. If anything, the 
note strengthened the relationship be- 
tween that country and the United 
States. The fact that only a few days 
before the exposure of the Zimmerman 
note Carranza had sent identical notes 
to all the American republics, including 
the United States, asking that the west- 
ern hemisphere should cease to send any 
further supplies to the European coun- 
tries, in order to bring about a speedier 
peace, was construed in the United 
States to be a sure sign of strong Ger- 
man intrigue in the Mexican republic. 
President Wilson courteously but firmly 
refused to acquiesce in the proposition. 
Armed Neutrality. — The President 
appeared before Congress in joint ses- 
sion on February 26, 1917, and asked 
for authority to use the armed forces of 
the United States to protect American 
rights on the seas. Effect was added to 
his appeal by the fact that the news was 
received while the President was on his 
way to the capitol of the destruction of 
the Laconia mentioned above. After 
summing up the events that occurred 
since the severance of diplomatic rela- 
tions, he said : "In sum, therefore, the 
situation we find ourselves in with re- 
gard to the actual conduct of the Ger- 
man submarine warfare against com- 
merce and its effects upon our own ships 
and people is substantially the same 



that it was when I addressed you on the 
3d of February, except for the tying up 
of our shipping in our own ports be- 
cause of the unwillingness of our ship- 
owners to risk their vessels at sea with- 
out insurance or adequate protection, 
and the very serious congestion of our 
commerce which has resulted, a conges- 
tion which is growing rapidly more and 
more serious every day. This in itself 
might presently accomplish, in effect, 
what the new German submarine orders 
were meant to accomplish, so far as we 
are concerned. . . . 

"You will understand why I can 
make no definite proposals or forecasts 
of action now, and must ask for your 
supporting authority in the most gen- 
eral terms. The form in which action 
may become necessary cannot yet be 
foreseen. I believe that the people will 
be willing to trust me to act with re- 
straint, with prudence, and in the true 
spirit of amity and good faith that they 
have themselves displayed throughout 
these trying months, and it is in that 
belief that I request that you will au- 
thorize me to supply our merchant ships 
with defensive arms should that become 
necessary, and with the means of using 
them, and to employ any other instru- 
mentalities or methods that may be 
necessary and adequate to protect our 
ships and our people in their legitimate 
and peaceful pursuits on the seas. 

"I request also that you will grant 
me, at the same time, along the powers 
I ask, a sufficient credit to enable me to 
provide adequate means of protection 
where they are lacking, including ade- 
quate insurance against the present war 
risks." 

Immediately following the request of 
the President, the Senate and the House 
set about framing bills to put it into ef- 
fect. Congress expired on March 4, 
1917, and there remained only eight 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 239 



days in which to debate and agree to a 
measure which was certain to be strong- 
ly opposed by the pacifist element in 
Congress. In the House, this opposi- 
tion did not assume formidable propor- 
tion. The Armed Ship Bill was re- 
ported in that body by the Foreign Re- 
lations Committee. On February 28 
and 29, 1917, debate was carried on. 
The bill was passed before adjourn- 
ment by a vote of 403 to 13. It was at 
once sent to the Senate, and was sub- 
stituted for the bill prepared by the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs 
whose provisions conferred larger pow- 
ers upon the President. Debate on the 
bill began in the Senate on March 1. 

Senator La Follette, of Wisconsin, 
objected to its consideration, and would 
permit the debate to be carried on, only 
on condition that no attempt would be 
made to pass the bill before the next 
day. Thus a day was lost, and this 
sealed the fate of the measure. It was 
debated continuously on March 2, 1917, 
and debate was resumed on the follow- 
ing day. Senator Stone, chairman of 
the Committee on Foreign Relations, 
was opposed to the bill, and he pro- 
posed an amendment excluding muni- 
tion ships from armed protection. The 
chief objection to the bill, however, 
came from a group of Senators repre- 
senting chiefly western States who pre- 
vented every effort made for limiting 
debate or setting a time for voting. 
When the supporters of the bill under- 
stood that there was no possibility of 
its passage, they signed a manifesto 
reading as follows : "The undersigned 
United States Senators favor the pas- 
sage of Senate Bill 8322, to authorize 
the President of the United States to 
arm American merchant vessels. A sim- 
ilar bill already has passed the 
House by a vote of 403 to 13. Under 
the rules of the Senate, allowing unlim- 



ited debate, it now appears to be im- 
possible to obtain a vote prior to noon, 
March 4, 1917, when the session of Con- 
gress expires. We desire the statement 
entered in the record to establish the 
fact that the Senate favors the legisla- 
tion and would pass if a vote could be 
obtained. " This manifesto was signed 
by seventy-five Senators. The Senate 
continued in session until 12 o'clock 
noon on March 4, 1917, when it auto- 
matically adjourned, the session having 
expired. The twelve Senators who pre- 
vented the passage of the bill were La 
Follette of Wisconsin, Norris of Ne- 
braska, Cummins of Iowa, Kenyon of 
Iowa, Stone of Missouri, Gronna of 
North Dakota, Kirby of Arkansas, Var- 
daman of Mississippi, O'Gorman of 
New York, Works of California, Clapp 
of Minnesota, and Lane of Oregon; 
seven Republicans and five Democrats. 

The situation brought from the 
President the indignant protest in the 
form of a public statement in which he 
denounced the actions of the twelve 
Senators, and called for a revision of 
the rules of the Senate, which would pre- 
vent a repetition of the performance. 

Although the President's efforts to 
receive authority from Congress for 
arming merchant ships failed, he was 
able to accomplish his purpose in an- 
other way. An act passed in 1819 gov- 
erning piracy at sea was held by the ad- 
visers of the President to give the re- 
quired authority. This statute forbade 
American merchant men to defend 
themselves against commissioned ves- 
sels of a nation with which the United 
States was at "amity"; but they could 
resist by force any attacks made on 
them by other armed vessels. In other 
words, this legalized resistance to pi- 
rates. It was held that Germany's de- 
nial to Americans of the rights of the 
high seas was inconsistent with true 



240 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



amity, and caused her war vessels to 
lose, so far as the United States was 
concerned, their right to immunity from 
attack, both under international law 
and under the law of 1819. The Presi- 
dent, as commander-in-chief of the army 
and navy, thereupon determined to or- 
der the armament of merchant vessels 
in so far as they desired to be armed. 
The following memorandum was there- 
upon dispatched to the foreign govern- 
ments : 

"In view of the announcement of the 
Imperial German government on Janu- 
ary 31, 1917, that all ships, those of 
neutrals included, met within certain 
zones of the high seas, would be sunk 
without any precaution taken for the 
safety of the persons on board, and 
without the exercise of visit and search, 
the government of the United States 
has determined to place upon all Amer- 
ican merchant vessels sailing through 
the barred areas an armed guard for 
the protection of the vessels and the 
lives of the persons on board." 

In the meantime, the Senate of the 
Sixty-fourth Congress remained in exe- 
cutive session in order to devise a means 
of preventing a repetition of the sit- 
uation which had prevented the passage 
of the Armed Merchant Bill. 

The President was inaugurated for 
his second term on March 4, 1917. His 
inaugural address was given up mainly 
to the consideration of the situation as 
related to Germany. 

President Wilson on March 9, 1917, 
issued a call for a session of the Sixty- 
fifth Congress to assemble on April 16 
for the purpose of passing appropria- 
tion measures and other bills necessary 
to prepare for the inevitable event. 

German submarines continued to fire 
upon and sink American vessels and ves- 
sels which had Americans aboard. On 
March 12, 1917, the unarmed steamer, 



Algonquin, with a crew of 27 men, of 
whom 10 were Americans, was sunk 
without warning by a German submar- 
ine. Two days later three unarmed 
vessels, the City of Memphis, Illinois, 
and Vigilencia, were destroyed. 

It was obvious that a state of armed 
neutrality was inadequate to meet the 
serious situation. The President was 
confronted with the necessity of im- 
mediately taking more drastic action 
rather than continuing to pursue meas- 
ures of passive defense. At a Cabinet 
meeting on March 20 further action 
was discussed, and on the following 
day the President issued a proclamation 
calling upon Congress to assemble on 
April 2 instead of April 16 "to receive 
a communication concerning grave mat- 
ters of national policy." 

In the meantime, preparations were 
steadily going forward. The Secretary 
of War made a contract with manufac- 
turers for military supplies even al- 
though such expenditures had not been 
authorized by Congress. On March 25 
the President called for the Federal 
service of fourteen National Guard 
regiments from the eastern States. Sev- 
eral of these States had already put 
their militia on a war footing. The 
purpose of this mobilization was to pro- 
tect munition plants, bridges, railways, 
and other endangered property from 
any violations that might arise from 
the present international crisis. There 
were also organized two new depart- 
ments of the regular army, the north- 
eastern, comprising the New England 
States, and the southeastern, includ- 
ing States east of the Mississippi. 

Each day the government received 
more emphatic assurance of support 
from State legislatures, governors, and 
members of Congress. At a rally in 
Madison Square Garden in New York 
City, resolutions were adopted urging 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 241 



an immediate declaration of war and 
the enactment of universal military ser- 
vice. Elihu Root was the principal 
speaker- 
There were many proofs of the ac- 
tivities of German agents, especially in 
an effort to use the territory of the 
United States as a basis for conspira- 
tors against the Allies. In Hoboken, 
N. J., two Germans, Fritz Kolb and 
Hans Schwartz, were arrested for stor- 
ing powerful explosives with the ap- 
parent intention of wrecking munition 
plants. In Galveston, Texas, bombs 
were discovered on board a grain ship 
and in a grain elevator. There was 
discovered in Philadelphia a plot in 
which the President of the Machine 
Manufacturing Company, which had 
performed contracts for the xVmerican 
navy, had conspired with the captains 
of interned commerce raiders in the 
port, to obtain and transmit to Ger- 
many secret information in regard to 
the American navy. 

The President's War Message. — 
The President issued a call for the New 
Congress to meet in special session on 
April 2. He had attempted to get 
plenary war powers from the old Con- 
gress before it went out of existence but 
he was unable to do so. Probably at no 
time in our history has a congress met 
to face such a crisis as the one that 
existed. Congress met at noon on the 
2d of April and at 8.30 p.m. of the 
same day President Wilson delivered his 
war message. The following are ex- 
tracts from the message : "I have called 
the Congress into extraordinary session 
because there are serious, very serious, 
choices of policy to be made, and made 
immediately. . . . The new policy (see 
note of February 1 above) has swept 
every restriction aside. Vessels of every 
kind, whatever their flag, their char- 
acter, their cargo, their destination, 



their errand, have been ruthlessly sent 
to the bottom without warning and 
without thought of help or mercy for 
those on board. . . . 

"I am not now thinking of the loss of 
property involved, immense and serious 
as that is, but only of the wanton and 
wholesale destruction of the lives of 
noncombatants, . . . engaged in pur- 
suits which have always, . . . been 
deemed innocent and legitimate. Prop- 
erty can be paid for ; the lives of peace- 
ful and. innocent people cannot be. The 
present German warfare against com- 
merce is a warfare against man- 
kind. . . . 

"The German government denies the 
right of neutrals to use arms at all 
within the areas of the sea which it has 
prescribed, even in the defense of the 
rights which no modern publicist has 
ever before questioned their right to 
defend. . . . Armed neutrality is inef- 
fectual enough at best ; in such circum- 
stances and in the face of such pre- 
tensions it is worse than ineffectual; it 
is likely only to produce what it was 
meant to prevent ; it is practically cer- 
tain to draw us into the war without 
either the rights or the effectiveness of 
belligerents. . . . 

"With a profound sense of the solemn 
and even tragical character of the step 
I am taking and of the grave respon- 
sibilities which it involves, but in un- 
hesitating obedience to what I consider 
my constitutional duty, I advise that 
the Congress declare the recent course 
of the Imperial German Government 
to be in fact nothing less than war 
against the Government and the people 
of the United States ; that it formally 
accept the status of belligerent which 
has thus been thrust upon it. . . . We 
have no quarrel with the German peo- 
ple. We have no feeling toward them 
but one of sympathy and friendship. It 



242 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



was not upon their impulse that their 
government acted in entering this war. 
It was not with their previous knowl- 
edge or approval. . . . 

"A steadfast concert for peace can 
never be maintained except by a part- 
nership of democratic nations. ... It 
must be a league of honor, a partner- 
ship of opinion. . . . Only free people 
can hold their purpose and their honor 
steady to a common end and prefer the 
interests of mankind to any narrow 
interest of their own. . . . The world 
must be made safe for democracy. Its 
peace must be planted upon the tested 
foundations of political liberty. We 
have no selfish ends to serve. We de- 
sire no conquests, no dominion. We 
seek no indemnities for ourselves, no ma- 
terial compensations for the sacrifices 
we shall freely make. We are but the 
champions of the rights of mankind. 
We shall be satisfied when those rights 
have been made as secure as the faith 
and the freedom of nations can make 
them. . . . 

"To such a task we can dedicate our 
lives and our fortunes, everything that 
we are and everything that we have, 
with the pride of those who know that 
the day has come when America is priv- 
ileged to spend her blood and her might 
for the principles that gave her birth 
and happiness and the peace which she 
has treasured. God helping her, she 
can do no other." 

Congress took immediate action on 
this address by the President, with the 
result that on April 6, 1917, the execu- 
tive signed the joint resolution of the 
House of Representatives and the Sen- 
ate to the effect that the state of war 
thrust upon the United States by Ger- 
many was formally declared. The 
President was also given power to call 
on the naval and military forces of the 
United States, as well as the resources 



of the government, to bring the war to a 
successful conclusion. On the same day 
President Wilson issued a proclama- 
tion to the people of the country, in 
which he called upon the enemy aliens 
to abide by the laws of the United 
States and not to do anything which 
would give aid and comfort to the 
enemy. If they followed out these in- 
structions they would not be disturbed. 
Otherwise they could be apprehended, 
restrained, secured, and removed from 
the country as alien enemies. 

Prompt action followed President 
Wilson's signature of the resolution. 
All American ships at foreign stations 
and the governors and military posts 
of American insular possessions were 
notified by wireless of the existence of 
war. Orders were issued by the navy 
department for the mobilization of the 
fleet, and the naval reserve was called 
to the colors. The navy at once pro- 
ceeded to seize all radio stations in the 
country. Congress voted the war fund 
of $100,000,000 for the use of the 
President at his discretion. One of the 
first acts of the government was to seize 
every German and Austrian vessel in 
the harbors of the country and its pos- 
sessions. There were 91 of these, ag- 
gregating 630,000 gross tonnage. The 
largest group was in New York har- 
bor. Here were 27 vessels, including 
the Vaterland, George Washington, 
and the Kaiser Wilhelm II. The first 
of these was the largest vessel afloat. 
The Austrian vessels seized were held 
subject to payment, as the United 
States was not at war with Austria- 
Hungary. The immigration author- 
ities took charge of all the German of- 
ficers and crews who were held to be in 
the status of intended immigrants 
whose eligibility for entrance into the 
country was in question until the end 
of the war. This decision carried with 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 243 



it internment. It was found upon exam- 
ination that the machinery of most of 
the German ships had been damaged to 
prevent their being used as transports, 
the result of a concerted movement un- 
der the direction of the German govern- 
ment. This dated from the severance 
of relations on February 3, 1917. 

Together with the seizure of these 
ships came the arrest of Germans sus- 
pected of being spies. Several of these 
had already been convicted of violating 
American neutrality, and were at lib- 
erty under bond pending appeals. Oth- 
ers were under indictment and awaiting 
trial. The remainder were suspected 
persons who had long been watched by 
the Federal authorities. A proclama- 
tion was issued by the President warn- 
ing citizens and aliens against the com- 
mission of treason. It was deemed un- 
necessary to intern all Germans and 
German reservists and they were noti- 
fied that they would not be molested so 
long as they conducted themselves in 
accordance with American law. 

Congress continued the debate of war 
measures, and the House, on April 14, 
passed without a dissenting vote, a bill 
providing for a loan of $7,000,000,000. 

The President, on the following day, 
issued "a call to service," in which he 
appealed especially to the agricultural 
and industrial workers of the country 
to put their utmost efforts to aid in 
providing and equipping the armies in 
Europe. He said: 

"We must supply abundant food not 
only for ourselves and for our armies 
and our seamen, but also for a large 
part of the nations with whom we have 
now made a common cause, in whose 
support and by whose sides we shall be 
fighting. 

"We must supply ships by the hun- 
dreds out of the shipyards to carry to 
the other side of the sea, submarines or 



no submarines, what will every day be 
needed there, and abundant materials 
out of our fields and our mines and our 
factories with which not only to clothe 
and equip our own forces on land and 
sea, but also to clothe and support our 
people, for whom the gallant fellows un- 
der arms can no longer work; to help 
clothe and equip the armies with which 
we are cooperating in Europe, and to 
keep the looms and manufactories there 
in raw material; coal to keep the fires 
going in the ships at sea and in the 
furnaces of hundreds of factories across 
the sea ; steel out of which to make arms 
and ammunition both here and there; 
rails for worn out railways back of the 
fighting fronts ; locomotives and roll- 
ing stock to take the place of those 
every day going to pieces ; mules, 
horses, cattle for labor and for mili- 
tary service ; everything with which the 
people of England and France and 
Italy and Russia have usually supplied 
themselves, but cannot now afford the 
men, the materials, or the machinery to 
make." 

The entry of the United States into 
the war was received with great re- 
joicing by the people of the allied 
countries. Great Britain and France 
at once made arrangements to send dele- 
gates to a war council at Washington in 
order to arrange the details of Amer- 
ican participation and to negotiate fur- 
ther loans to the Allies. 

An executive order made public on 
April 13 announced the establishment 
of defense areas at the entrance to the 
chief harbors of the Atlantic and Pa- 
cific coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, and the 
insular colonies. One of the reasons 
for the restrictions in these areas was 
the presence of German commerce raid- 
ers in the western Atlantic. 

War Preparations by the Army and 
Navy. — Long before the declaration of 



244 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



war the United States government was 
engaged in putting its physical forces 
into first-class condition. On March 
25, an executive order was issued in- 
creasing the enlisted personnel of the 
navy to 87,000 men, and on March 26, 
another order was issued to increase the 
Marine Corps to 17,400 men. Imme- 
diately after the declaration of war the 
entire navy was placed on a war foot- 
ing. The naval militia, the naval re- 
serves, and the coast guards passed un- 
der the control of the Navy Depart- 
ment. A nation wide recruiting cam- 
paign was carried on to bring the navy 
and allied services up to their war 
strength. 

A large fleet of "mosquito craft" was 
organized to patrol United States wa- 
ters against attack by German subma- 
rines and raiders. At first this was 
composed of privately owned power 
boats that were purchased by or given 
to the government. These were later 
augmented by 80- and 110-foot "chas- 
ers," built of wood, fast, and carrying 
a small gun fore and aft. In the latter 
part of 1917, the construction of these 
was given up, because of their inability 
to stand rough seas and because the 
Navy Department decided the money 
could be better spent on fast destroy- 
ers. Defensive war zones around the 
coastline of the entire United States and 
its dependencies were laid out v 

Plans for the mobilization of the 
army went forward just as rapidly as 
those for the navy. Before war was de- 
clared several national guard units were 
called out to do police duties at bridges, 
etc. The War Department announced 
that 26 camps, with a capacity of 25,- 
000 men, would be established through- 
out the country for the giving of mili- 
tary instruction to civilians. See sec- 
tion on Military Operations. 

Council of National Defense. — The 



economic side of the war was put in 
the hands of the Council of National 
Defense, which consisted of the mem- 
bers of the President's cabinet and a 
civilian advisory committee composed 
of business men and leaders of indus- 
try. A number of boards were ap- 
pointed consisting of a group of ex- 
perts, who were to organize war activi- 
ties along special lines. The Food 
Board was placed under the charge of 
Herbert C. Hoover,* the executive head 
of the Belgian Relief Commission. This 
board was to take such measures as 
would conserve the food supplies of the 
United States, and at the same time, as 
far as possible, supply the needs of the 
Allies. It also dealt with questions of 
food shortages, distributions, mobiliza- 
tion of agricultural resources, price 
control, and waste. In November, 1917, 
it held a "conservation" week and thou- 
sands of families received conservation 
display cards, showing that they would 
observe "wheatless and meatless" days 
to aid the government. Other impor- 
tant boards were also instituted. A 
committee of five was appointed to di- 
rect the operations of American rail- 
ways during the war. The railways 
were taken over by the government on 
December 28, 1917. A General Mu- 
nitions Board had charge of supplying 
munitions and equipment to the army 
and of adjusting the question of wheth- 
er the government needed a man more in 
the industrial or military field. The 
Economy Board was organized to take 

* Hoover, Herbert C. National Food Ad- 
ministrator. Born (1874) at West Branch, 
Iowa. Graduated from Leland Stanford Uni- 
versity (1895) and entered mining engineering 
beginning as a common laborer. Became rich 
through the development of gold mines in Aus- 
tralia. Among defenders of Tien-Tsin during 
Boxer rebellion. After that engaged in min- 
ing. At beginning of war made head of Com- 
mission for Relief in Belgium. On entrance 
of United States into war offered post of Food 
Administrator which he accepted after first 
declining. 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 245 



care of the commercial interests of the 
country and to purchase raw materials 
for the government. A Medical Board 
was formed by many prominent physi- 
cians to mobilize and organize the med- 
ical men and resources of the country. 

The Federal Shipping Board was one 
of the most important organizations es- 
tablished. Its problem was to defeat 
the submarine by building a vast fleet 
to transport the American army and 
great quantities of supplies to Europe. 
It was organized as a $50,000,000 cor- 
poration with Colonel Goethals as gen- 
eral manager. It was to build 1000 
wooden ships of from 3000 to 5000 
tons burden. The efficiency of this 
board was marred by continual wran- 
glings over the nature of the vessels to 
be built. The result was several changes 
in the personnel of the board with an 
apparent securing of harmony of ac- 
tion. 

Enemy Aliens. — At the outbreak of 
the war there were approximately 5,- 
000,000 enemy aliens in the United 
States. An official proclamation was 
issued which forbade any enemy alien 
from remaining or residing "within half 
a mile of any governmental fort, fac- 
tory, reservation, base of supplies, or 
any land used for war purposes." This 
act was not carried out strictly by the 
United States marshal. Permits were 
granted which allowed an enemy alien 
to remain in the prescribed area if he 
obeyed the law. The gradual unfold- 
ing of vast German plots, the destruc- 
tion of munition factories, incendiary 
burning of food supplies destined for 
the Allies, and the activities of Amer- 
ican newspapers, compelled the govern- 
ment to take more stringent action. 
Various raids were executed in different 
sections of the country and several hun- 
dred "suspects" were interned. The re- 
sult was that in November, 1917, the 



President ordered all enemy aliens to 
register, and gave the Attorney-General 
the power to establish forbidden zones 
about warehouses, factories, etc. There 
were to be no exceptions to this order. 
United States troops were also pro- 
vided to guard the waterfronts of sea- 
ports. 

An alien enemy property custodian 
was appointed by President Wilson, the 
purpose of which was to seize all prop- 
erty held by enemy aliens in this coun- 
try and to hold them in trust until the 
close of the war. He had the power 
to administrate them in any way that 
he saw fit. The total number of enemy 
properties taken over by the alien 
enemy property custodian, A. Mitchell 
Palmer, during the first sixteen months 
of its existence, amounted to 35,400* 
with a total value of more than $700,- 
000,000. The total cost of the admin- 
istration of the property was borne by 
the businesses themselves which were 
taken over by Mr. Palmer. Mr. Palm- 
er's reports showed that big properties 
were taken over such as the Bosch Mag- 
neto Works, the Passaic Worsted Mills, 
the Bridgeport Projectile Company, the 
Sayville and Tuckerton wireless sta- 
tions, and the Bayer Chemical concern. 
One way that the money collected was 
expected to be used is in paying claims 
of American citizens whose property 
has been seized by members of the Cen- 
tral Powers. 

As each enemy-owned enterprise was 
seized an effort was made to convert 
its products to the use of the govern- 
ment in the war. As a result, Mr. Pal- 
mer said: "When the armistice was 
signed the alien property custodian was 
supplying the government with mag- 
netos for airplanes and automobile mo- 
tors, with cloth to make uniforms for 
the soldiers and the dyes with which the 
cloth was dyed, with medicines, surgical 



246 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



instruments, and dressings, with music- 
al instruments, with ball bearings, tele- 
scopes, optical instruments and engi- 
neering instruments, with cocoanut 
charcoal for the making of gas masks, 
with glycerine for the making of high 
explosives and a large number of other 
and varied products. In some instances 
the enemy-owned corporations under 
the alien property custodian's super- 
vision, were running 100 per cent of 
their capacity on government busi- 
ness." 

Up to September 30, 1918, the cus- 
todian had deposited with the Secretary 
of the Treasury, $54,801,475 ; cash with 
depositories, $7,469; stocks, $167,801,- 
774; bonds — other than investments 
made by the Secretary of the Treasury, 
$58,281,334; mortgages, $10,866,009; 
notes receivable, $6,130,682; accounts 
receivable, $57,559,207; real estate, 
$7,311,728; general businesses and 
estates in operation of liquidation, mer- 
chandise, miscellaneous investments, 
etc., $85,484,979; enemy vessels, $34,- 
193,690; total, $482,447,349. 

The Draft Act. — In the President's 
message to Congress on April 2 he sub- 
mitted the idea of raising a national 
army by conscription. There was a 
strong protest against this in both the 
House and the Senate, but after a 
month's debate the President's idea pre- 
vailed, and on May 18, 1917, the se- 
lective conscription act was passed. The 
President by proclamation set aside 
June 5 as the day on which all males 
who had reached their 21st but not 
their 31st birthday were to register for 
military service. Nine million, six hun- 
dred and fifty-nine thousand, three hun- 
dred and eighty-two men registered. 
This included aliens. In different parts 
of the country there were attempts to 
avoid the law. Many of the delinquents 
were given another opportunity to reg- 



ister and some of the recalcitrants were 
arrested. The law authorized the 
President to appoint a local exemption 
board for each county and one for each 
30,000 population in cities of 30,000 
or more. He was also to appoint a 
board for each Federal Judicial dis- 
trict, which was to review the decisions 
of the local boards. The President 
himself was the final court of appeal 
from the district court. The exemption 
boards were to be composed of civilians 
only. Those specifically exempted by 
the law were Federal and State officials 
and members of religious sects who had 
conscientious scruples against war. The 
President was authorized to exempt 
"persons engaged in industries, includ- 
ing agriculture, found to be necessary 
to the maintenance of the military es- 
tablishments or the effective operation 
of the military forces or . . . the na- 
tional interest during the emergency." 

The cards of registrants were num- 
bered in a red ink serial up to the total 
number in the district. Alphabetical 
arrangement was forbidden. Then the 
numbers were drawn at Washington and 
the men were called according to the 
drawing, which took place on July 20. 
The men were medically examined and 
those who were physically fit and not 
exempted were sent to some one of the 
16 military cantonments constructed 
for the training of new recruits. Six 
hundred and eighty-seven thousand 
were called in the first draft. After 
the first draft was completed the sys- 
tem of selection was changed (Novem- 
ber, 1917). All the remaining regis- 
trants were divided into five classes, ac- 
cording to liability for military ser- 
vice. Those in the first class were to 
be called first, those in the second next, 
and so on. 

During the year 1918 three registra- 
tion days were set aside on which the 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 247 



various classes of men were to regis- 
ter. The resolution approved on May 
30, 1918, provided that all males who 
had reached the age of twenty-one since 
the original registration day, June 5, 

1917, should register for military ser- 
vice. The President proclaimed June 5, 

1918, as the registration day for this 
class in the continental United States. 
As a result of this registration 744,865 
young men were enrolled. A second 
registration day was proclaimed in the 
United States on August 24, 1918, 
which provided for the enrollment of all 
males who had reached the age of twen- 
ty-one since June 5. One hundred and 
fifty-seven thousand nine hundred and 
sixty-three youths were thus added to 
the potential military strength of the 
country. 

What virtually amounted to a sec- 
ond selective draft act was approved 
which provided for the registration of 
all males between the ages of eighteen 
and forty-five, with the exception of 
those who had already registered or who 
were in the military or naval service of 
the United States. The President ap- 
proved this act on August 31, 1918, 
and proclaimed September 12, 1918, as 
the registration day. Approximately 
13,000,000 men were enrolled. Provost 
Marshal General Crowder announced 
that the selectives had been classified 
into five groups, which indicated the 
order in which they were to be called. 
A summary of this classification fol- 
lows: 

Class I. — (1) Single man without de- 
pendent relatives; (2) married man (or 
widower) with children, who habitually 
fails to support his family; (3) mar- 
ried man dependent on wife for sup- 
port; (4) married man (or widower) 
with children, not usefully engaged; 
family supported by income indepen- 
dent of his labor; (5) men not included 



in this or other classes; (6) unskilled 
laborers. 

Class II. — ( 1 ) Married man or fath- 
er of motherless children usefully en- 
gaged, but family has sufficient income 
apart from his daily labor to afford 
reasonable adequate support during his 
absence; (2) married man, no children, 
wife can support herself decently and 
without hardship; (3) skilled farm la- 
borer engaged in necessary industrial 
enterprise; (4) skilled industrial la- 
borer engaged in necessary agricultural 
enterprise. 

Class III. — (1) Man with foster chil- 
dren dependent on daily labor for sup- 
port; (2) man with aged, infirm, or in- 
valid parents or grandparents depen- 
dent on labor for support; (3) man 
with brothers or sisters incompetent to 
support themselves, dependent on daily 
labor for support; (4) county or mu- 
nicipal officer; (5) firemen or police- 
men; (6) necessary artificers or work- 
men in arsenals, armories, and navy 
yards; (7) necessary custom house 
clerks; (8) persons necessary in trans- 
mission of mails; (9) necessary em- 
ployees in service of United States ; 
(10) highly specialized administrative 
experts; (11) technical or mechanical 
experts in industrial enterprise; (12) 
highly specialized agricultural expert in 
agricultural bureau of State or nation ; 
(13) assistant or associate manager of 
necessary industrial enterprise; (14) 
assistant or associate manager of nec- 
essary agricultural enterprise. 

Class IV. — (1) Married man with 
wife (and) or children (or widower with 
children) dependent on daily labor for 
support and no other reasonable ade- 
quate support available; (2) mariners 
in sea service of merchants or citizens 
in United States; (3) heads of neces- 
sary industrial enterprises; (4) heads 
of necessary agricultural enterprises. 



248 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



Class V.— (1) Officers of States or 
the United States; (2) regularly or 
duly ordained ministers; (3) students 
of divinity; (4) persons in military or 
naval service; (5) aliens; (6) alien 
enemies; (7) persons morally unfit; 
(8) persons physically, permanently, or 
mentally unfit; (9) licensed pilots. 

In a decision handed down by the 
United States Supreme Court on Janu- 
ary 8, 1918, the constitutionality of 
the Selective Service Act was upheld. 

Missions from Abroad. — About the 
middle of April, the expected envoys 
from France and Great Britain reached 
the United States. The British mission 
was headed by Arthur James Balfour, 
the British foreign secretary, and in- 
cluded also a number of noted military 
and naval officers and financiers. On 
April 22 the mission arrived in Wash- 
ington to confer with President Wil- 
son. Simultaneously with the arrival 
of these commissioners to the United 
States the entry of this country into the 
war was celebrated in England where, 
on April 20, for the first time in his- 
tory, a foreign flag was raised over the 
Houses of Parliament. Both Houses 
passed the following resolution : "This 
House desires to express to the govern- 
ment and people of the United States 
of America their profound apprecia- 
tion of the action of their government 
in joining the Allied Powers and thus 
defending the high cause of freedom and 
rights of humanity against the gravest 
menace by which they ever have been 
faced." 

On April 24, the war commissioners 
from the French republic reached 
Hampton Roads and at once proceeded 
to Washington on the President's 
yacht, the Mat/flower. The movements 
of the commission had been kept a pro- 
found secret in order to prevent any in- 
terference of their progress. As soon 



as their presence had become known, 
their journey to Washington became a 
triumphal procession. It was prob- 
ably without parallel in the history of 
the United States since the visit of 
Lafayette. The commission was head- 
ed by Rene Viviani, former premier, and 
Marshal Joffre, former commander of 
the French armies. The latter was the 
figure that appealed most to the sym- 
pathies and affections of the American 
people, and this was displayed on every 
occasion in which he appeared. Anoth- 
er noted member of the commission was 
the Marquis de Chambrun, a descend- 
ant of Lafayette, and a leader in the 
French Chamber of Deputies. The 
commission on reaching Washington 
paid its respects to President Wilson, 
and at once began to take counsel with 
the British commissioners and with the 
civil and military heads of the Amer- 
ican army and navy. 

The Russian revolution, which oc- 
curred in February, created the most 
sympathetic feeling and interest in the 
United States. President Wilson at 
once resolved to send to Russia a war 
mission, to consult with the author- 
ities of that country and to assist in 
the establishment of a stable govern- 
ment. Elihu Root, former Secretary 
of State, was appointed chairman of 
the commission, which included also rep- 
resentatives of the army and navy, fi- 
nancial and transportation systems. 
(See above.) 

Following the conference in Wash- 
ington, the French commissioners be- 
gan an extensive tour in the Eastern 
and Middle-western States, including a 
visit to Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, 
Springfield, 111., Philadelphia, New 
York, and Boston. The party left 
Washington on May 3, and reached 
Chicago on the following day. The 
commission was received with enthusi- 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 249 



asm especially in Chicago. Prior to set- 
ting out on this journey, the British 
and French commissioners, on April 
29, 1917, visited Mt. Vernon to pay 
their respects to George Washington. 
M. Viviani delivered an eloquent oration 
on the significance of America's en- 
trance into the great war. Mr. Bal- 
four, as representative of the British 
mission, also made a notable address. 
Following their visit to Mt. Vernon, the 
commissioners met tjhe Senators and 
Representatives on the floor of Con- 
gress. It became known at this time 
that Marshal JofFre and other mem- 
bers of the French commission had laid 
stress upon the necessity of at once 
sending an army to France. In a state- 
ment issued by him, he expressed his be- 
lief that American recruits could be 
trained behind the battle lines in 
France. 

The French commission, following its 
journey through the Middle West, ar- 
rived, on May 9, 1917, in New York 
City, where elaborate preparations had 
been made for their reception. They 
were received by Mayor Mitchel at City 
Hall, where a great throng of people 
had gathered to welcome them. The 
commission spent several days in the 
city, and wherever its members appear- 
ed they were received with the greatest 
evidence of enthusiasm. Marshal Jof- 
fre attended the unveiling in Brooklyn 
of a memorial tablet to Lafayette. Co- 
lumbia University conferred upon M. 
Viviani the degree of Doctor of Laws. 
This degree was also conferred upon 
Mr. Balfour in his absence. 

While the British and French mis- 
sions were being honored in New York 
City, an Italian mission, headed by 
Prince Ferdinand of Savoy, and includ- 
ing many notable persons, among whom 
was William Marconi, the famous 
scientist, arrived in New York City. 



This mission went at once to Washing- 
ton where it began conferences with the 
government authorities. On June 4, 
1917, the mission began a tour of the 
South, Middle West, and East, includ- 
ing the cities of Atlanta, New Orleans, 
Pittsburgh, and Chicago, arriving in 
New York City on June 12. They were 
everywhere received with the same en- 
thusiasm with which the French and 
British envoys were greeted. 

To the list of Allied countries which 
had sent missions to the United States, 
Belgium was now added. The head of 
the commission was Baron Ludovic 
Moncheur, who had formerly been the 
Belgian minister in Washington. Other 
members were General Leclerq, Hector 
Carlier, Mr. Osterrieth, and Count 
Louis d'Ursel. On June 18 President 
Wilson received the commission, and 
Baron Moncheur delivered to him a let- 
ter from King Albert expressing satis- 
faction at the entry of the United 
States into the war and appreciation of 
American aid in relieving distress. 
Baron Moncheur also delivered an elo- 
quent address in which he expressed the 
gratitude of his country for the ser- 
vices rendered by the citizens of the 
United States. To this the President 
replied in fitting terms. He said : 

"The American people have been able 
to understand and glory in the un- 
flinching heroism of the Belgian people 
and their Sovereign, and there is not 
one among us who does not to-day wel- 
come the opportunity of expressing to 
you our heartfelt sympathy and friend- 
ship, and our solemn determination that 
on the inevitable day of victory, Bel- 
gium shall be restored to the place she 
has so richly won among the self-re- 
specting and respected nations of the 
earth." 

Following the reception of the Bel- 
gian commission, came a commission 



250 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



from Russia headed by Boris A. Bakh- 
metieff. The Russian and Belgian war 
mission on June 24, 1917, visited the 
tomb of Washington at Mt. Vernon, 
where Baron Moncheur and Bakhmetieff 
delivered appropriate and eloquent ad- 
dresses. The Belgian mission, on June 
22, was received by the Senate, and 
Baron Moncheur addressed that body, 
and was warmly received. 

A mission from Rumania was received 
by the Secretary of State on July 2, 
1917. It was headed by the Rev. Basil 
Lucaciu, president of the Rumanian 
League, and included a member of the 
Rumanian army. 

A special Japanese mission, headed 
by Viscount Ishii, Ambassador extraor- 
dinary, arrived in the United States in 
August, 1917. The mission included, 
in addition to Viscount Ishii, the fol- 
lowing: Vice-Admiral Takeshita, Im- 
perial Japanese Navy; Ma j. -Gen. Su- 
gano, Imperial Japanese Army; Mr. 
Masanao Hamihara, Consul General at 
San Francisco; Mr. Matsuzo Nagai, 
secretary of the foreign office ; Com- 
mander Ando, Imperial Japanese Navy ; 
Mr. Tadenao Imai, vice consul ; Mr. 
Tashiro Owaku, secretary ; Mr. Doug- 
las L. Dunbar, American secretary to 
the mission. 

The mission, on August 14, was wel- 
comed by Secretary Lansing, and on 
August 21, Viscount Ishii presented his 
credentials, as Ambassador, to the 
President. The commission afterward 
made a tour of the principal cities of 
the country. 

German Intrigues and Propaganda. 
— Extraordinary revelations of the ac- 
tivities of the German Foreign Office, 
both before and after the entry of the 
United States into the war, aroused 
much indignation. These revelations 
included the work of propaganda in the 
United States and in Mexico, and in 



several of the South American coun- 
tries. 

The Committee on Public Informa- 
tion made public on September 27, 
1917, revelations in regard to German 
propaganda in the United States, de- 
rived from newspapers seized in 1916 
from a prominent agent, Wolf von Igel. 
This man established an office in New 
York in the autumn of 1914, where he 
carried on propaganda work in its most 
varied forms. In April, 1916, while 
von Igel was preparing papers to be 
transmitted to the German embassy at 
Washington, his office was entered by 
four secret service agents, who put him 
under arrest, and took charge of his 
papers. Ambassador Count von Bern- 
storff protested against this seizure, 
declaring the papers seized were official, 
and were exempt from such seizure. 
When the papers were examined, they 
were found to contain evidence which 
made it clear that German agents were 
violating the laws of the United States, 
planning for the destruction of lives and 
property and merchant vessels on the 
high seas, forming far-reaching plots 
against Great Britain and Ireland, the 
United States and Mexico ; and endeav- 
oring to corrupt American writers and 
lecturers. A special system was main- 
tained under the guise of an American 
Information Bureau, for the purpose 
of stirring up labor troubles in am- 
munition plants and was engaged in 
the preparation of bombs for the de- 
struction of American munition facto- 
ries and ships. The papers included let- 
ters to von Bernstorff commending 
John Devoy, a prominent Irish-Amer- 
ican, as a valuable man for carrying on 
German propaganda. Reports in re- 
gard to Devoy's activities were also in- 
cluded. A letter relating to Judge 
Cohalan of New York was said to 
show that he had offered advice in re- 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 251 



gard to stirring up revolutions in Ire- 
land. Both Devoy and Judge Cohalan 
denied any guilty connections with the 
German government. Evidence was 
found to indicate that several American 
citizens, who were well known as jour- 
nalists and lecturers, had received pay- 
ment from German authorities for pro- 
paganda work. These included Edwin 
Emerson and F. J. Archibald, who was 
arrested in 1916 while carrying impor- 
tant papers to Germany from the 
United States. The documents revealed 
through this seizure were of the great- 
est value in searching for evidence of 
German activities, and in bringing 
about the arrest of many suspected per- 
sons. 

The State Department, through its 
secret service, discovered, during 1917, 
that messages had been regularly sent 
between Argentina and Germany, 
through the medium of the Swedish min- 
ister to Argentina, and that the Ger- 
man minister in Mexico had in March, 
1916, strongly commended the work in 
behalf of Germany done by Folke Cron- 
holm, the Swedish Charge d'Affaires in 
Mexico. He recommended a decoration 
in recognition of his services. 

Much more sensational, however, was 
the declaration made public of the cor- 
respondence carried on by Count Lux- 
burg, the German Charge d'Affaires at 
Buenos Aires, with the Foreign Office at 
Berlin through the Swedish legation as 
a medium of communication. The first 
of these messages made public was dated 
May 19, 1917. After detailing the re- 
lease of certain German and Austrian 
ships by the Argentine government, and 
speaking of the change in public feeling 
in Argentina in behalf of the Germans, 
he said: 

"This government will, in the future, 
only clear Argentine ships as far as 
Las Palmas. I beg that the small 



steamers Oran and Guazo, thirty-first 
January (meaning, which sailed 31), 
which are now nearing Bordeaux with 
a view to a change of flag, may be 
spared if possible, or else sunk without 
a trace being left ('spurlos versenkt')." 
Another message followed on July 3 : 

"I learn from a reliable source that 
the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
who is a notorious ass and anglophile, 
declared in a secret session of the Sen- 
ate, that Argentina should demand from 
Berlin a promise not to sink more Ar- 
gentine ships. If not agreed to, rela- 
tions would be broken off. I recom- 
mend refusal, and if necessary, calling 
in the mediation of Spain." 

Other messages in the same form fol- 
lowed, showing that a constant com- 
munication had been carried on between 
Argentina and Germany through one 
source. The Swedish government de- 
nied any wrong intentions or acts, but a 
satisfactory adjustment had not been 
made at the end of the war. On Sep- 
tember 21, the Secretary of State made 
public the following message from von 
BernstorfF to the Berlin Foreign Of- 
fice, dated January 22, 1917: 

"I request authority to pay out up to 
$50,000 in order, as on former occa- 
sions, to influence Congress through the 
organization you know of, which can 
perhaps prevent war. I am beginning 
in the meantime to act accordingly. 

"In the above circumstances a public 
official German declaration in favor of 
Ireland is highly desirable, in order to 
gain the support of Irish influence 
here." 

The publication of this message 
created a profound sensation in Con- 
gress. A resolution was at once adopt- 
ed to investigate as to any possible 
criminal plans in German activities as 
indicated by this note. No definite ac- 
tion, however, was taken. 



252 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



On September 22, 1917, the Secre- 
tary of State published the follow- 
ing: 

"In view of inquiries which have been 
made as to whether Count Bemstorff 
knew of the purpose of his government 
to renew relentless submarine warfare 
when he sent his message of January 
22, 1917, asking authorization to ex- 
pend $50,0001, I can state that the 
Department of State possesses conclu- 
sive evidence that on or before Janu- 
ary 19, Count Bernstorff had received 
and read the Zimmermann telegram to 
Minister von Eckhart in Mexico which 
contained the following: 

" 'We intend to begin on the 1st of 
February unrestricted submarine war- 
fare. We shall endeavor in spite of this 
to keep the United States of America 
neutral.' 

"Count von Bernstorff was, there- 
fore, fully advised of the intentions of 
the Imperial government at the time 
when he asked for authority of Berlin 
to employ funds for an organization to 
influence Congressional action in favor 
of the continued neutrality of this coun- 
try." 

On December 21, 1917, Secretary 
Lansing made public another series of 
telegrams exchanged between Count 
Luxburg and the German government 
through the Swedish Minister. These 
made it plain that the German govern- 
ment was keeping in close touch 
through this channel with happenings 
in South American countries. It indi- 
cated also the strong desire of the Ger- 
man government to preserve the neu- 
trality of this country. 

One of the most daring attempts at 
propaganda work was carried on by a 
Levantine adventurer, Bolo Pasha, who 
came to the United States with the 
purpose of influencing or purchasing 
newspapers in behalf of German propa- 



ganda. He was supplied with a large 
amount of money by the German gov- 
ernment, and large sums were deposited 
with a banking house of German affilia- 
tions in New York City. On his arriv- 
al in this country, Bolo entered into 
negotiations with Adolph Pavenstedt, 
then a member of the banking house of 
Amsinck and Co. Pavenstedt carried 
Bolo's plans to Ambassador Bernstorff, 
and as a result, the German Ambassa- 
dor directed Hugo Schmidt, the Ger- 
man financial agent in America, to pay 
to Bolo $1,750,000. 

Bolo secured introductions to prom- 
inent men, including William Randolph 
Hearst, whom he convinced that he was 
a friend of France and was carrying on 
work in behalf of that country. It was 
afterward revealed that he was in close 
relations with Senator Humbert of 
France, who received large sums of 
money from the German funds supplied 
Bolo. The intrigues of Bolo Pasha 
were revealed through an investigation 
carried on by Merton Lewis, the at- 
torney-general of New York, who sent 
the evidence in his hands to the French 
government. Bolo's work was carried 
on not only in the United States, but in 
Canada, but no evidence is shown that 
his efforts to influence or purchase pa- 
pers was successful. He was executed. 

Embargo and Blockade of German 
Trade. — The problem of dealing with 
neutral countries which bordered on 
Germany, and which normally obtained 
large food supplies from the United 
States, was one of the most vexing prob- 
lems with which the American govern- 
ment had to deal. Extraordinary in- 
crease in these imports during the years 
of the war, made it evident that these 
countries were supplying immense quan- 
tities of stores to Germany, and thus 
prolonging the war. The President is- 
sued a proclamation declaring that aft- 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 253 



er August 30, 1917, no exports from 
American ports could be shipped to any 
country in the eastern hemisphere ex- 
cept under a license granted by the Ex- 
port Council. This restriction, so uni- 
versal in application, was specifically 
aimed at the European neutral coun- 
tries now trading with Germany. In 
an explanatory note accompanying the 
proclamation the President said : 

"The purpose and effect of this proc- 
lamation is not export prohibition, but 
merely export control. It is not the 
intention to interfere unnecessarily with 
our foreign trade ; but our own domes- 
tic needs must be adequately safeguard- 
ed, and there is the added duty of meet- 
ing the necessities of all of the nations 
at war with the Imperial German gov- 
ernment. 

"After these needs are met, it is our 
wish and intention to minister to the 
needs of the neutral nations as far as 
our resources permit. This task will be 
discharged without other than the very 
proper qualification that the liberation 
of our surplus products shall not be 
made the occasion of benefit to the 
enemy, either directly or indirectly." 

The embargo was later modified by 
the removal of the license ban from a 
number of commodities for export to 
countries other than Germany, her al- 
lies, and neutral nations bordering on 
Germany. The effect of this modifica- 
tion was to concentrate the embargo 
against Holland, Sweden, Norway, and 
Denmark, the countries from which Ger- 
many secured large quantities of sup- 
plies. Holland had previously entered 
into an agreement with Germany which 
fixed the percentage of the exports from 
the Netherlands to the Central Powers, 
and to the nations at war with them. 
The United States government refused 
to recognize this agreement as equit- 
able and intimated that while it was ob- 



served, no American commodities, in- 
cluding foods, cattle, fodder, and dairy 
products would be permitted to enter 
Holland. Holland clung to the agree- 
ment in order to obtain coal and other 
commodities from Germany. As a re- 
sult of this embargo, a large number 
of Dutch and other neutral vessels load- 
ed with grain and other food products, 
were held in New York harbor and else- 
where. The United States government 
refused to permit them to sail under 
conditions which enabled the cargo to 
take the place of food supplies from 
Holland to Germany. The United 
States proposed that these ships with 
the cargo be sent to the Allies or un- 
loaded for American use, and that the 
vessels be placed in the American coast- 
wise trade. The Dutch government re- 
fused, fearing the attitude that Ger- 
many would take if aid was given to 
her enemies. There were in all eighty- 
four Dutch ships held idle in American 
ports for six months, and they entailed 
expenses to their owners exceeding 
twenty-five million dollars. An arrange- 
ment had not yet been arrived at at the 
end of the year. 

Financing the War. — The United 
States government determined to raise 
the money necessary for the conduct of 
the war by three methods: (1) loans, 

(2) revenue under the existing laws, 

(3) new taxation. The Treasury De- 
partment decided to raise the money 
immediately needed by means of bond 
issues. Consequently books were opened, 
offering $2,000,000,000 worth of S 1 /^ 
per cent convertible gold bonds. The 
loan was called the "Liberty Loan." 
Subscriptions closed on June 15, 1917. 
Amounts were allotted to each of the 
twelve Federal Reserve districts and in 
practically every district the amount 
allotted was over-subscribed. The cam- 
paign was carried on with a great dis- 



254 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



play of posters, ringing of bells, and 
speeches by prominent men. There were 
approximately 3,000,000 subscribers 
and the loan was oversubscribed by al- 
most $1,000,000,000. Books were open- 
ed for a second liberty loan on October 
1, 1917. These offered from $3,000,- 
000,000 to $5,000,000,000 worth of 4 
per cent convertible gold bonds bearing 
interest from November 15. As was the 
case with the first Liberty Loan, the sec- 
ond Liberty Loan bonds were enthusi- 
astically bought by the American peo- 
ple. The maximum amount was ap- 
proximately reached by means of 10,- 
000,000 individual subscriptions. The 
War Revenue Act as passed in Sep- 
tember, 1917, contained drastic taxa- 
tion measures. An additional tax and 
surtax were levied on incomes and a 
graduated excess profits tax on corpor- 
ations, partnerships, and individuals 
was put in operation. Internal taxes 
on tobacco, liquor, transportation, 
amusements, etc., and an increase in 
postal rates were expected to produce 
a vast revenue. The estimated cost of 
the first year of the war was $18,500,- 
000,000. For other information see sec- 
tion on Financial and Economic As- 
pects. 

President's Address to Congress. — 
On December 5, 1917, President Wilson 
delivered a very important message to 
Congress. He emphasized the fact that 
the only possible peace was one after a 
military victory, when it would be ne- 
gotiated with responsible representa- 
tives of the German people. He stated 
that international peace after the war 
must come from a partnership of peo- 
ples and not of governments. America 
would consider the war won when the 
German people were ready to agree to a 
settlement based on justice and repara- 
tion of wrongs their rulers have done. 
"Our present and immediate task is to 



win the war, and nothing shall turn us 
aside from it until it is accomplished. 
Every power and resource, whether of 
men, or money, or of materials, is being 
devoted and will continue to be devoted 
to that purpose until it is achieved. 
Those who desire to bring peace about 
before that purpose is achieved I coun- 
sel to carry their advice elsewhere. I 
will not entertain it." He asked for a 
declaration of war against Austria and 
it was declared on December 7. His 
speech created a profound impression 
both at home and abroad. 

Sinking of the Lusitania. — Before 
the government of the United States had 
formulated any action in connection 
with these cases (see above) the world 
was shocked at the terrible news that 
the Cunard Line steamship Lusitania 
had been sunk on May 7, 1915, by 
a German submarine off Old Head 
of Kinsale at the southeastern point of 
Ireland, resulting in the loss of 1150 
lives, of whom 114 were known to be 
American citizens. Prior to sailing of 
the Lusitania from New York on her 
fatal voyage, an advertisement signed 
by the German Embassy appeared in 
many newspapers warning Americans 
of the danger of traveling on British 
vessels through the war zone. 

The first feeling of horror at the ter- 
rible catastrophe was succeeded by a 
feeling of bitter resentment. in America 
at what appeared to be a ruthless sacri- 
fice of innocent lives. It appeared, at 
first, as if a break between the United 
States and Germany were inevitable. 
President Wilson waited six days before 
taking definite action, stating that it 
was important to act with deliberation 
as well as with firmness. In the mean- 
time the German government, on May 
10, 1915, sent a communication to the 
United States government expressing 
its sympathy for the loss of American 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 255 



lives, but at the same time maintaining 
that the responsibility rested with the 
British government, which through its 
plan of starving the civilian population 
of Germany by prohibiting the impor- 
tation of foodstuffs, had forced Ger- 
many to resort to retaliatory measures. 
It was further claimed that British mer- 
chant vessels were generally armed, 
and repeated attempts had been made 
by such vessels to ram submarines. 
Finally it was stated that the Lusitania 
carried a large quantity of ammunition 
in her cargo and warning had been given 
by Germany that such vessels were lia- 
ble to destruction. 

On May 13, 1915, the eagerly awaited 
statement of the United States was sent 
to Germany. With a dignity and an 
earnestness which the gravity of the 
situation called for, President Wilson 
reviewed the series of acts of German 
submarine commanders culminating in 
the sinking of the Lusitania, which he 
said "the government of the United 
States has observed with growing con- 
cern, distress, and amazement." 

Referring to the claim that the alleged 
illegal acts of her adversaries justified 
Germany in adopting retaliatory meas- 
ures the American note stated that the 
government of the United States could 
not admit that any such measures were 
legal which infringed the clearly estab- 
lished rights of neutrals under interna- 
tional law. These rights include the 
protection of the lives of noncombatants 
traveling on unarmed merchant vessels 
and the right of neutrals to travel on 
the high seas wherever their legitimate 
business calls them. In view of these 
clearly established principles the note 
stated that "it confidently expects the 
Imperial German government will dis- 
avow the acts of which the government 
of the United States complains ; that 
they will make reparation as far as 



reparation is possible for injuries which 
are without measure, and that they will 
take immediate steps to prevent the re- 
currence of anything so obviously sub- 
versive of the principles of warfare, for 
which the Imperial German government 
have in the past so wisely and so firmly 
contended." In conclusion it was stated 
that "the Imperial German government 
will not expect the government of the 
United States to omit any word or any 
act necessary to the performance of its 
sacred duty of maintaining the rights 
of the United States and its citizens 
and of safeguarding their free exercise 
and enjoyment." 

Some hope was felt that the German 
government would disavow the act when 
on May 11, 1915, a note was issued 
explaining its attitude with respect to 
American and other neutral ships in 
the war zone. It stated that the Ger- 
man government had no intention of at- 
tacking such neutral ships if they were 
guilty of no hostile act. Even if such 
ships carried contraband they were to 
be dealt with according to the rules of 
international law applying to prize war- 
fare. It further stated that if a neutral 
ship should be destroyed by mistake 
the German government would "unre- 
servedly recognize its responsibility 
therefor." While this did not cover 
the question involved in the Lusitania 
case, viz., the right of neutrals to travel 
in safety on merchant vessels under a 
belligerent flag, nevertheless it was a 
distinct modification of the policy an- 
nounced in the proclamation establish- 
ing the war zone. 

On May 28, 1915, the German gov- 
ernment submitted a note defining its 
position in regard to the various ques- 
tions raised in the American note. 
With regard to the cases of the dish- 
ing and the Gulflight it was stated that 
an investigation was in progress and the 



256 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



results of this investigation would be 
communicated to the United States gov- 
ernment shortly. (A note was sent by 
the German government on June 4, 
1915, expressing regrets for the sinking 
of the Gulflight, explaining that no dis- 
tinct marks were seen on the vessel by 
which she could be identified. Germany 
further agreed to furnish full recom- 
pense for the damage done. In regard 
to the Cushing the German government 
asked for additional information in the 
possession of the American government 
in order that a conclusion might be 
reached in the matter.) In regard to 
the Falaba, it was again stated that the 
commander had disregarded the order 
to lay to and had sent up rocket signals 
for help. 

Concerning the Lusitania, the Ger- 
man government took the position that 
the government of the United States 
had not considered all of the material 
facts in the case. It then repeated the 
charge that the Lusitania had guns on 
board mounted under decks, that the 
British government had issued orders to 
merchantment to ram submarines, and 
that in view of these alleged facts the 
German commanders "were no longer in 
a position to observe the rules of cap- 
ture otherwise usual." It was further 
contended that the Lusitania carried 
large quantities of ammunition and a 
number of Canadian troops, and that 
the German government was justified in 
destroying war munitions destined for 
the enemy. Finally it was asserted that 
the rapid sinking of the Lusitania was 
due to an explosion of the cargo of 
ammunition. (It was categorically 
denied both by the British authorities 
and the American port officials at New 
York that the Lusitania carried guns 
and war munitions.) The German gov- 
ernment requested the American govern- 
ment to carefully consider the above 



statements and express its view in re- 
gard to them when the German govern- 
ment agreed to make a final statement 
as to its position. 

It was at this juncture in the nego- 
tiations that Mr. Bryan resigned as 
Secretary of State on the ground that 
he was unable to agree with the Presi- 
dent as to the proper policy to pursue 
in dealing with the difficulties with Ger- 
many. The two points upon which Mr. 
Bryan in his letter of explanation stated 
that he was not in agreement with the 
President were (1) as to submitting the 
Lusitania case to the investigation of 
an international commission and (2) 
as to warning Americans against travel- 
ing on belligerent vessels or vessels 
carrying cargoes of ammunition. Mr. 
Bryan held that the questions in dis- 
pute should be considered by an inter- 
national commission, and secondly, that 
American travelers should be warned 
as above indicated. 

The next diplomatic move was made 
on June 9, 1915, when the American 
government replied to the German gov- 
ernment that it noted with satisfaction 
the position taken by the latter in the 
cases of the Cushing and Gulflight. In 
regard to the Falaba the United States 
was unwilling to admit that the at- 
tempt on the part of the merchantman 
to escape capture altered the obliga- 
tion of the commander of the attacking 
vessel to provide for the safety of the 
lives of those on board the merchant- 
man. In regard to the statements made 
by Germany that the Lusitania was 
armed, the American government stated 
that it had official information that such 
was not the case. With regard to the 
carrying of contraband by the Lusi- 
tania, it was held that this was entirely 
irrelevant to the question of the legality 
of the methods used in sinking the ves- 
sel. Brushing aside these extraneous 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 257 



issues, the American government took 
its stand firmly on the ground that it 
was "contending for nothing less high 
and sacred than the rights of human- 
ity," and it stated that it "very ear- 
nestly and very solemnly" renewed its 
representations made in the previous 
note. 

A reply to this note came from the 
German government on July 8, 1915. 
There was in this communication little 
evidence of a desire to meet the issue. 
There were the usual assertions in re- 
gard to England's inhuman methods of 
warfare and a suggestion for guard- 
ing the safety of American vessels in the 
war zone. The rejoinder to this note 
sent by the government of the United 
States on July 21, 1915, indicated very 
clearly that it considered the German 
communication evasive and unsatisfac- 
tory. It stated once more in the clear- 
est manner possible the real question at 
issue, namely, that acts of reprisal 
against an enemy are indefensible when 
they deprive neutrals of their acknowl- 
edged rights. The note further gave 
pointed evidence that the United States 
government felt that the discussion had 
gone far enough and that "it cannot 
believe that the Imperial government 
will longer refrain from disavowing the 
wanton act of its naval commander." 
Despite this urgent suggestion from the 
United States that the matter should 
be speedily settled the negotiations 
dragged on. There was evidence, how- 
ever, that the German government was 
attempting to find some solution which 
would concede most that the United 
States was contending for while at the 
same time avoid the appearance of be- 
ing humiliated. For example, on Sept. 
1, 1915, Ambassador von Bernstorff, 
in a letter to the new Secretary of 
State Lansing, gave assurance that 
German submarines would not sink 



any more liners without warning. It 
is to be noted that this included ships 
belonging to belligerents as well as neu- 
trals. Finally, in November, the Ger- 
man government authorized its Am- 
bassador at Washington to begin ne- 
gotiations looking to a settlement of all 
outstanding issues between the two na- 
tions. 

While the negotiations in regard to 
the Lusitania were being conducted, 
further complications arose from the 
continued action of German submarines 
and commerce destroyers. The sinking 
of the American schooner Wm. P. Frye 
by the German auxiliary cruiser Prinz 
Eitel Friedricli led to an exchange of 
notes in which Germany finally agreed 
to pay an indemnity for the loss of the 
vessel and cargo, and also made the 
important stipulation that thereafter 
no merchant vessel would be sunk until 
the safety of the crew and passengers 
was made absolutely certain. 

In the case of the British steamship 
Arabic, sunk by a German submarine 
on Aug. 19, 1915, the German govern- 
ment at first refused to acknowledge 
any obligation in the matter, as it was 
contended that the Arabic had at- 
tempted to ram the submarine. Later, 
however, the German government agreed 
to pay an indemnity for the loss of 
American lives on the Arabic and fur- 
ther stated that the instructions to the 
commanders of submarines had been 
made so stringent that a repetition of 
incidents similar to the Arabic was con- 
sidered out of the question. Just when 
it appeared that the issues between Ger- 
many and the United States which had 
arisen in connection with the operations 
of the submarines were about to be set- 
tled, a new issue appeared which seri- 
ously complicated the whole situation. 

Question of Armed Merchantmen. — 
It had long been a recognized right un- 



258 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



der international law for merchant ves- 
sels to carry armament for defensive 
purposes. This practice dates back to 
the days of piracy and privateers, and 
the armament of a merchantman was in- 
tended for purposes of defense against 
these irregular enemies. It was never 
contemplated that such armament would 
be available against a regular man-of- 
war. The appearance of the submarine, 
however, changed the aspect of an armed 
merchantman. Even small-calibre guns 
would be effective for sinking these frail 
craft. 

The German government contended 
that Great Britain had mounted guns 
on a large number of merchant vessels 
and had issued instructions to the mas- 
ters of such vessels to attack submarines 
which approached their ships. Under 
these circumstances the German govern- 
ment contended that such vessels were 
in fact men-of-war and might be sunk 
without warning. There was much 
force in this argument, and the United 
States government in a communication 
to the belligerent Powers stated that, in 
view of the changed conditions of war- 
fare and the disappearance of pirates 
and privateers, it was seriously consid- 
ering regarding all armed merchantmen 
as vessels of war. It was suggested that 
the belligerents agree that submarines 
observe the rules of international law 
and at the same time that all armament 
should be removed from merchant 
vessels. 

While this note was being considered 
by the belligerent Powers, matters were 
brought to a head when on Feb. 10, 
1916, the governments of Germany and 
Austria-Hungary notified the United 
States that after March 1, 1916, armed 
belligerent merchant vessels would be 
sunk without warning by the Teutonic 
Powers. At about the same time it 
became known that the Entente Allies 



would not accept the compromise sug- 
gestions proposed by the United States. 
This new development in the subma- 
rine issue aroused serious concern in 
the United States. There was a strong 
sentiment in Congress that the govern- 
ment should carry out its announced 
position of considering all armed mer- 
chantmen as vessels of war. The ad- 
ministration felt, however, that as the 
belligerent Powers had declined to ac- 
cept its suggestion for disarming mer- 
chant vessels it was not within its right 
to insist upon this modification of in- 
ternational law. For a time it appeared 
as if a serious breach would occur be- 
tween Congress and the Administration. 
Resolutions were introduced in both 
Houses of Congress, calling upon the 
President to warn Americans not to 
travel on armed merchantmen. The 
President did not welcome this interven- 
tion of Congress in the conduct of ne- 
gotiations with foreign Powers, and in 
order to place Congress on record, he 
asked for and received what in effect 
was a vote of confidence from Congress. 

This new issue once more delayed the 
final settlement of the issues between 
Germany and the United States. The 
President refused to continue further 
the negotiations relative to the Lusi- 
tania case until Germany gave assur- 
ances that the submarine warfare would 
be conducted in such a way as not to 
imperil Americans traveling on the 
high seas. In a note presented to the 
State Department, Feb. 16, 1916, Ger- 
many recognized her liability in the 
Lusitania affair. She promised repara- 
tion and said that submarine operations 
(as reprisals) must only be directed 
against enemy subjects. 

The sinking of the French cross- 
channel steamer Sussex aroused seri- 
ous concern in the United States in view 
of the promises which had been made 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 259 



by Germany. In a communication sent 
to the American government on April 
10, 1916, the German authorities of- 
fered an explanation of the sinking of 
several vessels, and denied responsibility 
for the sinking of the Sussex. Presi- 
dent Wilson, in order to bring the whole 
issue to a final settlement, if possible, 
sent on April 19, 1916, a communication 
to Germany which was clearly in the 
nature of an ultimatum. It stated that 
an impartial investigation conclusively 
established the fact that the steamer 
Sussex was sunk without warning by a 
torpedo of German manufacture. It 
then reviewed the submarine activities 
for the preceding year and pointed out 
how submarine commanders had con- 
tinued to sink merchant vessels, both 
belligerent and neutral, without warn- 
ing, despite the explicit promises of the 
German government. In conclusion it 
was stated that unless the German gov- 
ernment "immediately declare and effect 
an abandonment of its present methods 
of submarine warfare against passenger 
and freight-carrying vessels, the gov- 
ernment of the United States can have 
no other choice but to sever diplomatic 
relations with the German Empire alto- 
gether." 

On the same day that this note was 
sent, President Wilson, before the two 
Houses of Congress, read a message in 
which he reviewed the course of nego- 
tiations in connection with submarine 
warfare and informed Congress of the 
nature of the message which he had sent 
to Germany. 

In reply to this note the German 
government stated that it was possible 
that the Sussex was sunk by a German 
submarine, and if further investigation 
should establish this to be the case "the 
German government will naft fail to 
draw the consequence resulting there- 
from." On the other hand the Ger- 



man authorities denied the assertion 
made in the American note that there 
had been an indiscriminate destruction 
of vessels by German submarines. They 
defended the activity of the submarines 
as a legitimate retaliation for the al- 
leged violations of international law by 
Great Britain. However, it was stated 
that submarine commanders had re- 
ceived further instructions to the fol- 
lowing effect: "In accordance with the 
general principles of visit and search 
and the destruction of merchant vessels 
recognized by international law, such 
vessels, both within and without the 
area declared a naval war zone, shall 
not be sunk without warning and with- 
out saving human lives, unless the ship 
attempt to escape or offer resistance." 

While this was a substantial agree- 
ment to the demand of the United 
States, the note went on to say that Ger- 
many would expect the United States 
government to "demand and insist that 
the British government shall forthwith 
observe the rules of international law 
universally recognized before the war," 
and in case the British government 
failed to do so "the German government 
would then be facing a new situation, in 
which it must reserve to itself the com- 
plete liberty of decision." This con- 
cluding statement held out the possi- 
bility of a renewal of submarine warfare 
without restrictions in case Great 
Britain did not modify her policy of 
blockade. 

To this communication the United 
States government returned an immedi- 
ate reply, stating that it would rely 
upon a "scrupulous execution" of the 
new policy by the German government. 
At the same time the note stated that 
the United States government could not 
agree that the continuance of this new 
policy of submarine warfare by Ger- 
many was "contingent upon the conduct 



260 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



of any other government affecting the 
rights of neutrals and noncombatants." 

Shipment of War Munitions. — 
Shortly after the outbreak of the war 
large orders for war munitions were 
placed by the Entente Allies with Amer- 
ican firms. The complete control of the 
seas by the British and French fleets 
made it impossible for the Teutonic 
Powers to obtain similar supplies. 
Comment in the German press indicated 
that the feeling in Germany was very 
strong that the United States was not 
observing a strict neutrality by allow- 
ing such shipments. On April 4, 1915, 
Ambassador Bernstorff called the mat- 
ter to the attention of the United States 
government officially. He maintained 
that while the United States had taken 
no action in regard to alleged violations 
of international law by Great Britain 
in interfering with neutral trade, it had 
allowed American firms to supply large 
quantities of war munitions to Ger- 
many's enemies. He maintained that 
conditions in the present war were 
unique, that while theoretically arms 
might be shipped from the United States 
to Germany, practically they could be 
sent only to her enemies. A real spirit 
of neutrality called for the stoppage of 
a trade which was aiding only one side. 

In a vigorous reply to this note Presi- 
dent Wilson set forth clearly the posi- 
tion of the United States. He first 
called attention to the fact that her 
relations with England could not be 
made a subject of discussion with a 
third government. With regard to the 
shipment of arms and ammunition, the 
President pointed out that any change 
in the laws of neutrality during the 
progress of a war would be a departure 
from the principle of strict neutrality 
and the placing of an embargo on the 
trade in arms would constitute such a 
change. 



In reply to a similar protest by the 
Austro-Hungarian government on Aug. 
1, 1915, the government of the United 
States on Aug. 12, 1915, made an ex- 
haustive statement of its position. It 
reiterated the statement made in the 
reply to Germany that any change in 
the rules of neutrality made during a 
war would violate the spirit of neu- 
trality. In addition it pointed out that 
it had never been the policy of the 
United States to maintain a large mili- 
tary establishment or great stores of 
ammunition and had depended upon the 
right to purchase arms and ammunition 
from neutral Powers in time of war. 
To prohibit such trade would compel 
every nation to have on hand sufficient 
munitions of war to meet any emer- 
gency, and would practically make 
every nation an armed camp. 

Apart, then, from any question of the 
legality of an embargo on arms, the 
United States government felt that it 
would be a mistaken policy as it would 
deliberately encourage the spirit of 
militarism. 

Relations with Austria-Hungary. — 
During the year 1915 two serious dis- 
putes arose involving the United States 
and Austria-Hungary. The first of 
these concerned the activities of the 
Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to the 
United States, Dr. Theodor Dumba.* 

On Sept. 1, 1915, James F. J. Archi^ 
bald, an American newspaper corre^ 
spondent, was arrested by the British 
authorities, when the steamer Rotter- 
dam put into Falmouth, for carrying 
dispatches from the German and Aus- 
trian embassies at Washington to Ber- 

* Constantin Theodor Dumba, born (1856) in 
Vienna; graduated in law at the University of 
Vienna (1878) and then studied in Paris; en- 
tered Austrian Foreign Office (1879); Privy 
Councillor (1908); Ambassador from Austria to 
the United States from 1913 till his recall on 
demand of the United States government in 
1915. 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 261 



lin and Vienna. Among the papers was 
a letter from Dr. Dumba, suggesting a 
plan for crippling the munition fac- 
tories in America by fomenting strikes 
among the Austro-Hungarian laborers 
in these factories. Dr. Dumba admit- 
ted the authenticity of the documents 
and defended his action on the ground 
that it was his duty to bring to the 
attention of his fellow countrymen em- 
ployed by the manufacturers of muni- 
tions that they were engaged in enter- 
prises unfriendly to the fatherland, and 
that the Imperial government would re- 
gard them as guilty of a serious crime, 
punishable by penal servitude, should 
they return to their own country. 

This explanation proved unsatisfac- 
tory to the American government and 
Secretary Lansing notified the Austrian 
government that as Dr. Dumba had 
"conspired to cripple legitimate indus- 
tries of the people of the United States 
and had flagrantly violated diplomatic 
propriety by employing an American 
citizen protected by an American pass- 
port as a secret bearer of official dis- 
patches through the lines of the enemy 
of Austria-Hungary," he was no longer 
acceptable to the United States as the 
Ambassador from Austria-Hungary. 
In answer to this demand the Austro- 
Hungarian government agreed, on Sept. 
27, 1915, to recall Dr. Dumba. 

The second incident involving the two 
countries was the sinking of the Italian 
steamer Ancona on Nov. 7, 1915, by an 
Austrian submarine. The Ancona had 
attempted to escape but was overhauled. 
It was charged by the survivors that the 
submarine continued to fire after the 
Ancona had stopped. In all more than 
200 lives were lost, among them nine 
American citizens. In a vigorous note 
the government of the United States, on 
Dec. 6, 1915, demanded that the 
Austro-Hungarian government should 



disavow the act, that the commander 
of the submarine should be punished, 
and that an indemnity should be paid 
for the loss of the lives of American 
citizens. 

To this the Austro-Hungarian gov- 
ernment replied on Dec. 15, 1915, ask- 
ing for more specific information upon 
which the government of the United 
States based its charges. On Dec. 19, 
1915, the American government replied, 
stating that it based its charges on the 
official report of the Austro-Hungarian 
Admiralty, and declined further to 
specify the additional testimony tend- 
ing to corroborate the Admiralty's re- 
port. The incident was closed by the 
Austro-Hungarian government grant- 
ing practically all of the American de- 
mands. In a note sent Dec. 29, 1915, 
it was stated that the submarine com- 
mander had been punished for not tak- 
ing into consideration the panic aboard 
the Ancona which rendered disembark- 
ment difficult. It agreed that Austria- 
Hungary should indemnify American 
citizens affected. While disclaiming re- 
sponsibility for lives lost by the shots 
which were fired while the Ancona was 
attempting to escape, or for those lost 
by the faulty lowering of lifeboats, Aus- 
tria agreed not to press for proof that 
the American lives were lost through the 
fault of the submarine commander, and 
agreed "to extend indemnities to those 
whose cause cannot be established." In 
conclusion the note stated that the 
Austro-Hungarian government "re- 
served to itself the right to bring up 
for discussion at a later time the difficult 
questions of international law con- 
nected with submarine warfare." 

Public Opinion in the United States. 
— Public opinion in the United States 
was sharply divided as to the lessons 
to be drawn from the war, and as to the 
policy which that country should adopt. 



262 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



On the one hand a vigorous campaign 
was inaugurated to strengthen the mili- 
tary and naval defenses of the United 
States. It was urged with great ear- 
nestness that the war had demonstrated 
the futility of military unpreparedness 
and that the United States was in par- 
ticular danger because of her great 
wealth which other nations would covet. 
On the other hand it was urged with 
equal fervor that the cause of the war 
was primarily the great military arma- 
ments in Europe, and that the United 
States would make a great mistake by 
joining in the competition for military 
preparedness. It was pointed out by 
the advocates of peace that the ener- 
gies of the country should be devoted 
to finding some means, if possible, to 
end the war, and to further the plans 
for preventing future struggles. Per- 
haps the most noteworthy, and cer- 
tainly the most picturesque, of the 
efforts of the pacifists in the United 
States was the expedition organized by 
Henry Ford, a millionaire automobile 
manufacturer, to go to Europe to dis- 
cover some means of ending the war. 
A liner was chartered for the purpose. 
Included in the party of about 150 were 
a number of prominent American men 
and women, together with a consider- 
able number of newspaper and maga- 
zine writers and moving-picture men. 
The United States authorities let it be 
known that the mission was in no sense 
officially sanctioned, while the Euro- 
pean countries at war clearly indicated 
that the expedition was not welcome. 
Despite these discouragements the 
party sailed on Dec. 4, 1915. During 
the voyage serious discord developed 
among the members of the party. The 
expedition reached Christiansand, Nor- 
way, on Dec. 18, 1915. A few days 
later it was announced that Mr. Ford 
would have to leave the party and re- 



turn to America because of illness. The 
remainder of the party went on to Co- 
penhagen, and later to The Hague, 
where a number of meetings were held 
with delegates from other neutral coun- 
tries. The expedition accomplished 
nothing of importance towards ending 
the war. 

President Wilson, in order to get 
first-hand information concerning the 
condition of affairs in the belligerent 
countries, sent Edward M. House * 
abroad as his personal confidential 
agent. It is thought that the Presi- 
dent was seeking to discover whether 
the time was opportune to offer media- 
tion. (See below.) 

Scandinavian Countries. Immediate- 
ly after the outbreak of the European 
War the three Scandinavian countries 
declared their neutrality and the gov- 
ernments of Norway and Sweden pub- 
lished identically worded explanatory 
communications which stated that the 
two governments had agreed to main- 
tain their neutrality and had exchanged 
binding assurances with a view to pre- 
venting any situation arising which 
Avould precipitate hostilities between 
them. 

In Sweden there was a strong Ger- 
manophile sentiment among the military 
class, which is in reality more a dislike 
of Russia than a love of Germany. 
This anti-Russian feeling is due mainly 
to the fear that Russia contemplates 
aggression against the Scandinavian 
peninsula. In Denmark and Norway 
the popular sentiment appeared to be 
favorable to Great Britain. The geo- 
graphical position of these countries, 

* Edward Mandell House, born (1858) at 
Houston, Tex.; educated at Cornell University; 
active in Democratic politics in Texas and di- 
rector of the campaigns of many successful 
Democratic nominees for Governor from 1892; 
himself never a candidate for office; confiden- 
tial adviser of President Wilson from the time 
that Wilson was Governor of New Jersey. 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 263 



especially of Denmark and Sweden, 
made it peculiarly difficult for them to 
maintain their announced position of 
neutrality. They controlled the en- 
trance to the Baltic Sea and were so 
situated as to provide easy transit to 
both Russia and Germany. 

On the initiative of the Swedish gov- 
ernment a conference of the three Scan- 
dinavian monarchs was held at Malmo, 
Sweden, in December, 1914. It was 
called for the purpose of taking counsel 
together regarding means for limiting 
and counteracting the economic diffi- 
culties imposed on the three countries 
by the war. This conference was fol- 
lowed by the issuance of an identically 
worded protest to the nations at war 
against their measures which threatened 
neutral commerce. 

The interference with Swedish trade, 
especially by Great Britain, led to the 
adoption of retaliatory measures on the 
part of Sweden. Embargoes were laid 
on wood pulp and other commodities 
needed by the Entente Allies. In order 
to reach a solution of the question of 
neutral trade Great Britain, in July, 
1915, sent a commission to Sweden. 
Some months later it was stated that 
a satisfactory arrangement had been 
made. 

A second conference of the premiers 
and foreign ministers of the three 
countries was held in March, 1916, at 
Copenhagen with the purpose of 
strengthening the understanding be- 
tween them. It was reported that an 
agreement had been reached that if any 
one of the three nations should become 
involved in the war, the other two would 
not align themselves with the opposing 
belligerents. It was further decided 
that at the proper time steps should 
be taken by the three Powers in con- 
junction with other neutrals to protect 
the interests of neutrals generally. 



The transaction of foreign commerce 
became more difficult and during 1917 
the Danish government was obliged to 
import for its own account foodstuffs 
and provisions. Industries were not 
permitted to go beyond certain hours 
and strict economy in the use of gas 
and electricity was enforced. 

In Noi'way because of the curtailment 
of imports by the United States as a 
result of its policy of restricting im- 
ports to neutral countries bordering on 
Germany an agreement was made be- 
tween the two countries for the ship- 
ments of certain supplies upon guaran- 
tees being given that would prevent 
their reexportation to Germany. The 
agreement also provided that if any of 
the supplies were shipped to other coun- 
tries bordering on Germany, Norway 
would make an agreement with the coun- 
try to which the supplies were shipped 
that no such would be shipped to Ger- 
many. Norway was the first of the 
northern European neutrals to be ra- 
tioned. When the United States broke 
off diplomatic relations with Germany, 
after the renewal of unrestricted sub- 
marine warfare, it made the suggestion 
to other neutral countries that they fol- 
low its example. To this suggestion 
the Swedish government replied that 
such method was contrary to its prin- 
ciples of policy. 

On February 14, 1917, it was an- 
nounced that the Scandinavian powers 
after a consultation lasting a week held 
at Stockholm had handed identical notes 
to the German ministers in Denmark, 
Norway, and Sweden protesting against 
submarine blockade, refusing to admit 
its legality, and holding Germany ac- 
countable for damages. On November 
29, 1917, a conference of the Scandi- 
navian Powers was held at Christiania 
on the invitation of King Hakon of 
Norway and King Gustav of Sweden. 



264 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



The meeting was explained as an en- 
deavor of the three Scandinavian coun- 
tries to find means of self-defense 
against the Central Powers. During 
1917, there were 85 Danish vessels of 
66,000 net tons and 434 Norwegian 
vessels of 687,000 gross tons sunk by 
torpedoes, mines, or gun fire. 

In Sweden a great number of hunger 
demonstrations occurred all over the 
country. In many cities numbers of 
bake-shops were plundered by women 
and in the country districts bands of 
men demanded that the farmers turn 
over to them their reserve supplies. 
Soldiers joined in these demonstrations. 
While the Parliament was in session in 
Stockholm a band of workmen number- 
ing several thousands gathered before 
the building to demand that exports be 
stopped and that foodstuffs be better 
distributed. Many people demanded an 
immediate commercial agreement with 
England. The Queen was especially un- 
popular among the Socialists, who 
called her the German Queen of Sweden, 
and she was accused of causing provi- 
sions to be smuggled into Germany. 

In 1918 the Norwegian government 
took over the supply of breadstuff's to 
provide better distribution. The rise of 
prices continued in all the Scandinavian 
countries. In Denmark the housing 
problem caused much anxiety, and many 
people had to purchase houses in order 
to secure residences. In Copenhagen 
it was provided that no rent be in- 
creased without the sanction of the 
Copenhagen house rent board, and dur- 
ing the year February 23, 1917, to Feb- 
ruary 23, 1918, the cases brought be- 
fore the board numbered 24,000. The 
expenses of a working family of five 
increased from 2,000 kroner in July, 
1914, to 3,635 kroner in July, 1918. 

Netherlands. The geographical sit- 
uation of the Netherlands made its 



relations to the belligerents even more 
difficult to adjust than was the case in 
the Scandinavian countries. At the 
outbreak of the war there was consider- 
able apprehension in Holland that their 
country might suffer a fate similar to 
that of Belgium. The authorities, how- 
ever, determined to defend the neutral- 
ity of Holland to the best of their 
ability, and with this end in view the 
Dutch army was mobilized and sent to 
th*e frontiers. These military measures, 
together with the expenditures made in 
caring for a large number of Belgian 
refugees who fled to Holland, entailed 
a considerable financial burden upon the 
country. In common with other neu- 
tral countries, Holland was seriously 
affected by the restrictions placed upon 
neutral commerce, especially by Great 
Britain. As Holland offered an easy 
means of communication with Germany, 
Great Britain deemed it necessary, in 
order to make her blockade of Germany 
effective, to adopt some measure to pre- 
vent neutral goods passing through 
Holland to Germany. With this end in 
view there was organized a company 
known as the Netherlands Overseas 
Trust, to which was to be consigned all 
imports which might be of use to Ger- 
many. This company agreed to dispose 
of these imports so that none should 
reach Germany. 

The war curtailed and restricted the 
commerce of the country and to supply 
the needs of the people factories were 
built. As a result Dutch industry was 
strengthened and will have a permanent 
effect on the foreign commerce of the 
country. 

On February 22, 1917, seven Dutch 
merchant vessels were toi'pedoed in the 
North Sea. German naval regulations 
as to time of leaving and route to be 
followed had been complied with, and 
after a discussion of several months the 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 265 



Dutch government received satisfac- 
tion, Germany promising to replace the 
ships sunk by ships of equal value. 
The feeling among the Allies was that 
Germany had agreed to this in order 
not to push Holland too far, as she ob- 
tained supplies from her. On April 
21, 1917, Holland made the announce- 
ment that she would remain neutral 
during the war. In the latter half of 
July, 1917, German and Dutch govern- 
ments discussed the economic situation. 
The problem of coal and credits was the 
most important. Germany could not 
export more than 200,000 tons of Ger- 
man and 50,000 tons of Belgian coal, 
which quantity she could continue to 
deliver until March 81, 1918. To ren- 
der the rate of exchange stable Ger- 
many proposed that Holland should 
place at her disposal a definite amount 
of florins for the coal obtained to be 
covered partly by cash payment and 
partly by credit, the credit to be car- 
ried by a consortium of German banks. 
On September 11 of the same year it 
was reported that England was ready 
to deliver 180,000 tons of coal monthly, 
if Holland would place 180,000 tons of 
shipping space at the disposal of the 
Belgian Relief Commission. When the 
States General convened the Queen de- 
clared that Holland should hold herself 
ready to resist any infringement of her 
neuti'ality. 

During the year 1917, the neutral 
countries bordering on Germany gave 
rise to a vexing problem to the United 
States. Extraordinary increase in 
imports to these countries of food sup- 
plies made it evident that large quan- 
tities were sent to Germany. Accord- 
ingly President Wilson issued a procla- 
mation (August 30, 1917) that no food- 
stuffs could be sent to Europe without 
a license granted by the Export Coun- 
cil. A later modification of the regula- 



tions resulted in the concentration of 
the embargo on Holland and the Scan- 
dinavian countries from whom Germany 
received large quantities of supplies. 
Holland had an agreement with Ger- 
many fixing the percentage of exports 
from the Netherlands to the Central 
Powers. The United States intimated 
that as long as the agreement lasted 
no American commodities would be per- 
mitted to enter Holland. Holland 
needed coal and other commodities from 
Germany and clung to the agreement. 
As a result of this embargo large num- 
bers of Dutch and other neutral ves- 
sels were held in American harbors. 
The United States refused to allow 
them to sail under conditions which 
would allow their cargoes to take the 
place of food supplies shipped to Ger- 
many. The United States proposed 
that the ships and their cargoes be sent 
to the Allies or unloaded for American 
use and vessels placed in American 
coastwise trade. The Dutch govern- 
ment, afraid of Germany's attitude, re- 
fused. Eighty-four ships were thus held 
up. The vessels were finally allowed to 
go (August, 1918) on condition that 
most of the supplies should go to the 
relief of Belgium. 

The restrictions upon commerce by 
the Allies and the scarcity of bottoms 
during 1918, had a depressing effect on 
Dutch foreign trade. Factories were 
closed and as a result laborers who 
lived near the border traveled in and 
out of Germany daily to work in that 
country's war industries. The govern- 
ment was forced to regulate the prices 
of various commodities to keep them 
from advancing too high. A number of 
Dutch vessels were sunk by submarines 
and mines and one was confiscated by 
a German prize court. Two of the 
steamers sunk by submarines belonged 
to the Holland-American line and Ger- 



266 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



many agreed to place at their disposal 
an equivalent of German ships interned 
in Holland. 

The Allied need of more shipping re- 
sulted in the United States and Great 
Britain taking over all Dutch shipping. 
On January 25, 1918, a temporary 
agreement was made for the use of 
Dutch vessels outside of the submarine 
zone. «The Dutch government did not 
live up to its part of the agreement be- 
cause of pressure brought to bear on 
her by Germany. The President, there- 
fore, on March 20, 1918, proclaimed 
that Dutch ships be at once employed 
in American service, promising ade- 
quate compensation and provision for 
losses by enemy attack. Eighty-seven 
vessels with a gross tonnage of 980,000 
were thus taken over. These were re- 
turned as soon as possible after the 
signing of the armistice. 

Switzerland. The situation of Switz- 
erland was unique. The little country 
was completely surrounded by the na- 
tions at war. The sympathies of the 
people were determined by their racial 
affiliations. There are three distinct 
racial groups in Switzerland, namely," 
German, French, and Italian, of which 
the German group is the largest. De- 
spite these conflicting sympathies, the 
Swiss authorities were determined to 
maintain the neutrality of the country, 
and the army was mobilized in order 
to prevent any violation of this neu- 
trality by the belligerent Powers. In 
dealing with the problem of imports 
into Switzerland, the Entente Allies fol- 
lowed much the same policy as had been 
adopted in Holland. There was or- 
ganized a company called the Societe 
Suisse de Surveillance Economique, 
through whose hands imports which 
might be of service to Germany were 
to pass. 

In 1917 the Federal government in 



order to obtain the requisite food sup- 
plies and fuel and raw materials for 
Swiss industries, guaranteed that with 
certain exceptions neither imports from 
one group of belligerents or articles 
manufactui'ed from them shall be ex- 
ported in any form to a country in the 
opposite group. In the latter part of 
1917, the Krupps established a branch 
factory at Lucerne with a capital of 
30,000,000 marks. 

In January, 1917, there were fre- 
quent rumors of an intention on the 
part of Germany to invade Switzerland. 
The French government on January 5 
renewed assurances already given that 
it would respect the neutrality of 
Switzerland. The Swiss government 
took measures to put Switzerland on 
guard. On April 14, 1917, 15,000 
workmen met in Zurich and protested 
against the high cost of living and de- 
manded a government monopoly in food 
supplies and their distribution at fair 
prices. In the autumn of 1917 there 
were persistent rumors in the press of 
France and Germany of the intentions 
on the part of the other country to vio- 
late the neutrality of Switzerland. 
France again assured Switzerland of 
its intention to respect rigidly and hon- 
orably the neutrality of Switzerland. 

In June, 1918, an agreement with 
Germany in regard to iron, coal and 
steel was published. This economic con- 
vention was to last nine months and its 
main provisions were as follows : Ger- 
many granted to Switzerland permis- 
sion to export each month 2,000,000 
tons of coal and 10,000,000 tons of iron 
and steel, the price of coal to be on the 
average of 173V:> francs per ton, Ger- 
many consenting to a rebate of 40 
francs a ton for the 60,000 tons which 
represented domestic consumption. 
Each party was to be permitted to ex- 
port products of exchange in the pro- 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 267 



portionate quantity. Switzerland ac- 
cepted a system of control, under the 
so-called Switzerland Fiduciary Office, 
which was to go into operation July 15, 
1918, and which was to be responsible 
solely to the Federal Council. It was 
agreed in principle that Switzerland 
might freely make use of German coal 
in manufactures which might be ex- 
ported, but the merchandise manufac- 
tured from German coal could not be 
sent into countries at war with it unless 
it was shown that an equal amount of 
non-German coal had been employed in 
that enterprise. The Germans delayed 
the negotiations and increased their de- 
mands, but when France informed 
Switzerland that the Allies were 
ready to supply her with 85,000 tons 
of coal a month, Germany hastened to 
conclude the convention. 

On September 13, 1918, the French 
government abrogated the French-Swiss 
commercial convention of 1906. This 
was in accordance with the policy of 
the Entente Allies to put an end to all 
treaties containing the most favored 
nation clause. 

South American Countries. All of 
the South American countries were 
seriously affected by the outbreak of 
the European War. A large amount 
of the business in these countries was 
carried on by European credit and the 
dislocation of the European financial 
markets seriously crippled the business 
interests in South America. Moreover, 
a large part of the export trade of these 
countries was cut off and emergency 
measures had to be adopted to relieve 
the situation. In Chile a moratorium 
was declared, and the President was 
empowered to extend government aid 
to the nitrate industry, the most impor- 
tant in the country. Argentina floated 
two loans, one of $15,000,000 and the 
other of $25,000,000, in the United 



States. This was the first time a South 
American country had negotiated a 
loan directly in the United States. 

Chile became involved in a dispute 
with the belligerents when, on April 2, 
1915, the German cruiser Dresden, 
which had entered Chilean waters and 
had been ordered interned, was sunk by 
a British squadron. Chile demanded an 
apology from Great Britain for this 
violation of her sovereignty and this de- 
mand was conceded. Germany sent a 
sharply worded note protesting against 
the acceptance of this apology, and 
Chile replied by demanding an apology 
from Germany for overstepping the 
bounds of international law in interven- 
ing in a question which involved Chile's 
relations with another Power. After 
some discussion the matter was ad- 
justed peaceably. 

Reception of the Barred Zone Note. 
— The issuance of the barred sea zone 
note on Jan. 31, 1917, created a pro- 
found impression in all the South Amer- 
ican republics. None of them, however, 
seemed ready to take the step adopted 
by the United States government and 
sever diplomatic relations. Brazil re- 
plied in part: "... The unexpected 
communication we have just received 
announcing a blockade of wide extent 
of countries with which Brazil is con- 
tinually in economic relations by foreign 
and Brazilian shipping has produced a 
justified and profound impression 
through the imminent menace which it 
contains of the unjust sacrifice of lives, 
the destruction of property, and the 
wholesale disturbance of commercial 
transactions. . . . For these reasons 
the Brazilian government, in spite of 
its sincere and keen desire to avoid any 
disagreement with the nations at war, 
with whom it is on friendly terms, be- 
lieves it to be its duty to protest against 
this blockade and consequently to leave 



268 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



entirely with the Imperial German gov- 
ernment the responsibility for all acts 
which will involve Brazilian citizens, 
merchandise, or ships and which are 
proved to have been committed in dis- 
regard of the recognized principles of 
international law and the conventions 
signed by Brazil and Germany." 

Chile refused outright to recognize 
the legality of the German attempt to 
establish barred zones and "conse- 
quently reserves liberty of action to 
protect all her rights in the event of 
any hostile acts against her ships." 
Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia, 
Panama, and Cuba all took similar ac- 
tion. The keynote of their replies was 
that any act on the part of Germany 
against their rights as neutrals would 
be considered unfriendly. 

During 1918 the attitude of Chile 
toward the war was a subject of much 
comment, for it was not understood why 
she was so firm against taking any part 
in the war. This seemed to be the re- 
sult in the first place of a belief that 
German military power could never be 
conquered. Then there was no clear 
perception of the economic consequences 
of the war in case of a German victory. 
Nor did the fear of German imperial 
ambition count for much, for what was 
said on that subject by the Entente 
Allies was attributed to propaganda. 
Finally, there was no faith whatever in 
the military strength of the United 
States. 

Soon after the declaration of war be- 
tween the United States and Germany, 
Brazil issued a proclamation of neu- 
trality as between those two nations, 
although there was a strong party in 
the country which favored a declara- 
tion of war based on the grounds laid 
down by President Wilson of the United 
States. She kept this attitude of neu- 
trality until June 4, 1917, when the 



Brazilian Ambassador handed to the 
State Department at Washington a 
note which read in part, "Brazil ever 
was and now is free from warlike ambi- 
tions, and, while it always refrained 
from showing any impartiality in the 
European conflict, it could no longer 
stand unconcerned when the struggle 
involved the United States, actuated by 
no interest whatever but solely for the 
sake of international judicial order, and 
when Germany included us and the 
other neutral powers in the most violent 
acts of war." Brazil seized about 150,- 
000 tons of German merchant vessels 
in her harbors and ordered her fleet to 
cooperate in the patrol work in the 
southern Atlantic. 

Brazil declared war on Germany on 
Oct. 26, 1917, and immediately took 
steps against her large German popu- 
lation. She annulled all contracts en- 
tered into for public works with Ger- 
mans, forbade land cessions to Ger- 
mans, took over the control of German 
banks, and interned all German sub- 
jects. Disorder immediately broke out 
in the large German settlements in 
southern Brazil, and an army had to be 
sent to restore order. Shortly after 
her declaration of war Secretary of 
State Lansing (United States) pub- 
lished two telegrams from Count Lux- 
burg, the German Charge d'Affaires at 
Buenos Aires, to Berlin through the 
Swedish legation, stating that the situ- 
ation in Brazil was serious, but that a 
visit of a submarine squadron would 
materially relieve the situation. Brazil 
had knowledge of these before she de- 
clared war. 

By the end of 1917 the situation in 
Argentina was very acute. On Sept. 
8, 1917, Secretary of State Lansing 
published telegrams that had been sent 
to Berlin in cipher through the inter- 
mediary of the Swedish foreign office. 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 269 



The first one under the date of May 
19, 1917, states that in the future Ger- 
many had better adopt one of two poli- 
cies with regard to Argentine ships. 
They must either let them alone or sink 
them without leaving a trace of their 
sinking (spurlos versenkt). In a tele- 
gram dated July 9, he reiterated the 
same sentiments. The publication of 
these created a profound impression on 
the country. Mobs gathered in the 
streets of the capital, German houses 
were wrecked and burned. Troops had 
to be called out to quell the riots. 
Count Luxburg was handed his pass- 
ports and the Argentine Senate passed 
a resolution asking for the breaking off 
of relations with Germany. President 
Irigoyen refused to sanction the reso- 
lution even after it had been passed by 
both houses. He announced that Ar- 
gentina would maintain her neutrality 
as long as Germany lived up to the 
pledge given in October, 1917, "to rec- 
ognize the Argentine flag and respect 
the nation and people." The country 
was almost in a state of civil war over 
the question of whether the country 
should go to war or not. A big strike 
on the railroads helped to mix up mat- 
ters further and to put the state in a 
serious plight. 

Costa Rica severed diplomatic rela- 
tions with Germany on Sept. 21, 1917. 
On October 6 the Peruvian government 
handed his passports to the German 
minister. On October 10, the govern- 
ment announced that the harbors of 
Peru were opened to the warships of 
the Allies. On October 8, Ecuador an- 
nounced that the minister from Peru 
who was also minister to Ecuador would 
not be received in that country. In 
December, 1917, she broke off diplo- 
matic relations with Germany entirely. 
Uruguay broke off relations with Ger- 
many on October 7. The President in 



his address to the Parliament stated 
that Uruguay had not received any 
harsh treatment at the hands of Ger- 
many but that the country should join 
hands with those fighting for justice 
and democracy. She seized almost 50,- 
000 tons of German shipping in her 
harbors. Paraguay had also broken 
off relations with Germany soon after 
the publication of the "barred sea" 
note. 

In December, 1917, the State De- 
partment at Washington published sev- 
eral more telegrams sent to Berlin by 
way of the Swedish legation. The pur- 
port of most of them was to unify the 
German population of South America, 
which was very great, and organize 
them against the South American re- 
publics. They spoke very sneeringly 
of the people of South America, re- 
ferring to them one time as Indians with 
a slight veneer over them. 

Central American Countries. The 
addition of the United States to the 
belligerents profoundly influenced other 
neutral states, especially the South and 
Central American republics. Some had 
suffered from the German submarine 
campaign and were encouraged to fol- 
low the lead of the United States in 
breaking with Germany. Others who 
had not suffered material damage were 
influenced by the close ties which bound 
them to the United States. Of the lat- 
ter group were Cuba and Panama. 

On April 7, 1917, the day after the 
declaration of war by the United States, 
a war resolution passed both houses of 
the Cuban Congress and signed by the 
President. This declared that a state 
of war existed between Cuba and Ger- 
many from that date and the Presi- 
dent was authorized to use the military 
and naval forces in any manner he 
thought necessary. Four German and 
one Austrian vessel were seized in Cuban 



270 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



waters. Toward the end of the month 
a mission was appointed to visit the 
United States and confer with the 
American government on Cuba's part 
in the war. The President authorized 
the issuance of $13,000,000 of bonds as 
a war loan beginning July 1 to bear in- 
terest at not more than six per cent. 
On May 26, 1917, several revenue meas- 
ures were announced, including taxes 
on sugar and the net income of mining 
and engineering companies. On August 
3, 1918, the Congress passed a law au- 
thorizing obligatory military service 
applying to all male Cubans not espe- 
cially exempted. The age limit was 
twenty-one to twenty-eight years. The 
army was to be composed of 17,000 men 
and the necessary officers. A reserve 
force was also created, the number to 
be determined later. A custodian of 
enemy property was created on Sep- 
tember 18, 1918. Foreign enemies were 
defined as nations of an enemy coun- 
try ; nationals of a neutral power if 
they violate Cuban laws with intent of 
aiding country with which Cuba is at 
war; persons, societies, etc., domiciled 
in enemy territory and maintaining 
commercial relations with it ; persons, 
societies, etc., regardless of domicile 
whom the national safety or war neces- 
sities require to be included in the list 
of enemies. 

Panama also followed the lead of the 
United States and declared war against 
Germany April 7, 1917, the day after 
the American declaration. 

Toward the end of May, 1917, al- 
leged proof of conspiracies between 
German agents and former President 
Gonzales were made public in Costa 
Rica. Meanwhile on April 12 the Costa 
Rican government had placed its waters 
and ports at the disposal of the United 
States for war purposes. On April 26 
it cancelled the letters patent of all 



Germans in its consular service. By 
this time a guard service had been or- 
ganized along the coasts and boundaries 
as a protection against German activi- 
ties. On May 23, 1918, it formally 
declared war against Germany. 

On April 28, 1917, martial law was 
declared in Guatemala because of dis- 
turbances along the frontier supposed 
to be of German origin. On April 18, 

1917, diplomatic relations were broken 
off with Germany and on April 22, 

1918, war was formally declared 
against her. 

Haiti declared war against Germany 
on July 20, 1918, because of the tor- 
pedoing of a French steamer causing 
the loss of eight Haitians. Nicaragua 
formally declared war against Germany 
on May 7, 1918. Honduras declared 
war against Germany on July 19, 1918. 

China and Siam. On resumption of 
unrestricted submarine warfare China 
issued a protest on February 9, 1917, 
saying that diplomatic relations would 
be broken off if the protest was not 
regarded. On the breaking of diplo- 
matic relations between the United 
States and Germany, China began dis- 
cussing similar action and on March 
14 handed the German Ambassador his 
passports. China demanded of the En- 
tente Allies and the United States the 
suspension of the Boxer indemnities 
amounting to $30,000,000 a year and 
would last till 1940 ; consent of the 
Powers to raise her import duties ; 
their consent to the posting of troops 
at Tientsin and on the Tientsin railway 
and in the neighborhood of thelegations. 
The Allies, anxious to have China enter 
the war, not so much to take part in 
the fighting, but to provide a reserve 
of men, had already promised part of 
these concessions. China had already 
supplied 100,000 laborers and farm 
hands to the Entente man-power, for 



NEUTRAL NATIONS AT BEGINNING OF WAR 271 



the most part in France, and the drown- 
ing of some of them on their way over 
on the Athos and other boats led to the 
first protest from China against Ger- 
man methods. 

Difficulties accompanied the breaking 
of relations with Germany. On March 
4, 1917, when the cabinet decided to 
follow the example of the United States, 
the president refused approval and the 
prime minister and several of the other 
ministers resigned. Parliament and the 
vice-president supported the cabinet. 
The president later yielded and the 
prime minister returned to office. The 
German reply to the Chinese was con- 
sidered unsatisfactory and on the same 
day (March 10) the House voted to 
break off relations. The Senate took the 
same action on the following day. All 
merchant ships in Shanghai were seized 
and guards placed on them. Evidence 
of intent to destroy them was found. 

The question of declaring war was 
now debated and an extended discussion 
in Parliament went on. A special com- 
mission for international affairs was 
appointed to report on the subject. 
The commission decided in favor of en- 
try into the war. A secret session of 
Parliament was held on May 9, 1917, 
and a resolution declaring war was re- 
ferred to a standing committee. The 
Prime Minister urged its passage and a 
heated debate followed. After a stormy 
session the House of Representatives 
refused to pass the resolution on May 
11 on the ground mainly that the war 
ought not be entered into until the cabi- 
net was reorganized. A mob gathered 
around the Parliament building and 
threatened violence and had to be dis- 
persed by troops. On May 19 the 
House decided not to consider any 
war measures until the resignation of 
the prime minister and the reorganiza- 
tion of the cabinet. A deadlock in the 



House and Senate on the war question 
followed. There was a strong demand 
in and out of Parliament for the resig- 
nation of the prime minister, who it 
was feared, in case of war, might vio- 
late the constitution and place the 
power in the hands of the Conservative 
Military Party. On the other hand the 
military governors objected to his dis- 
missal. 

On May 29 it was announced that the 
military governors of several provinces 
had declared their independence of the 
Central government. The president 
was forced to flee and the Manchu 
dynasty was declared reestablished. 
However, the government recovered 
strength and the emperor was forced 
to abdicate and the new imperial gov- 
ernment overthrown July 8-12. It was 
claimed that the Germans were respon- 
sible for the counter-revolution, but this 
was not established. What seems more 
certain is that the revolution was con- 
nected with international affairs, espe- 
cially with the relations between the 
United States and Japan and the Rus- 
sian revolution. The Chinese declara- 
tion of war checked by the constitu- 
tional crisis and by the attempt to 
restore the monarchy was unanimously 
decided upon by the cabinet and ap- 
proved by the president on August 5, 
1917. 

China continued sending laborers to 
Europe, about two-thirds going to 
England and one-third to France. By 
the close of August, 1918, it was esti- 
mated that from 4,000 to 5,000 work- 
ingmen a month were transported to 
France by way of the Suez Canal and 
that 150,000 were at work on French 
territory, being employed in munition 
plants, in quartermaster's and engineer- 
ing branches of the army. A bureau of 
immigration was established to look 
after these workingmen. Two special 



272 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



delegates were sent to England and 
France to watch over them and 
straighten difficulties that might pos- 
sibly arise between them and their em- 
ployers. 

China took little part in the war. It 
was thought that with the suspension 
of the Boxer indemnity and the increase 
in import duties China would develop 
industries and supply the Allies with 
raw materials. Instead the Allies com- 
plained the resources were squandered 
in civil war. The Chinese army was not 
properly organized and did not take 
part in the war. The appointment of 
a Chinese ambassador to the Papal See 
indicated a desire to embarrass the 
Allies. China did not deal effectively 
with German intrigue and did not prop- 
erly supervise enemy property. The 
Chinese enemy trading act though 
promulgated was not enforced. She 
was informed that a speedy and com- 
plete execution of the agreement was 
necessary to her enjoying equal privi- 
leges with the Allies at the peace con- 
ference. 

Siam declared war against Germany 
and Austria on July 27, 1917, interning 
the subjects of those countries and seiz- 
ing the enemy ships. For a long time 
past the Entente made demands on her. 
After the war broke out numbers of 
Germans in the Indo-Chinese posses- 
sions of France and the Indian terri- 



tories of England sought refuge in 
Siam. They recruited bands among the 
natives and organized movements 
against the Allies and the government 
looked on apparently indifferent. 
France demanded that she choose be- 
tween the Entente Allies and their ene- 
mies, and Great Britain, which before 
the war had great influence, presented 
an ultimatum to the Siamese govern- 
ment. The break with Germany fol- 
lowed. This restored order to the 
French and British possessions in the 
East. 

Liberia. The trade of this country 
was conducted almost wholly by Ger- 
man residents who controlled both im- 
ports and exports, but since the war 
began operations were at first restricted 
and later almost stopped by British 
war measures and Liberia was nearing 
starvation, according to official dis- 
patches received at Washington Febru- 
ary 4, 1917. Relations with Germany 
were broken off on May 8. This was 
important because many cables had 
their points of landing in Liberia and 
had been used by German} 7 as a base 
against the British. War was declared 
on August 4, 1917. Compulsory mili- 
tary service during the war was set up 
and some hundreds of laborers were 
sent to France for war work. Vigorous 
action was taken against German 
citizens. 



X. PEACE PROPOSALS AND STATEMENTS OF WAR AIMS 



The most important move towards 
peace occurred in December, 1916. On 
the 12th of that month, Germany, Aus- 
tria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria 
submitted practically identical notes 
to the diplomatic representatives of the 
United States, Switzerland, and other 
neutral countries as well as to the Vati- 
can. No terms were mentioned but the 
Allies were asked "to enter forthwith 
into peace negotiations." The notes 
were forwarded to the Allies without 
comment. Russia immediately refused 
to open any negotiations whatever. 
Italy and France made similar declara- 
tions. Lloyd George, the new premier 
of England, declared that little could be 
expected of the peace move now and 
that "the very appeal for peace was de- 
livered ostentatiously from the triumph- 
al chariot of Prussian militarism." 

Rather unexpectedly the United 
States, on December 18, sent a note to 
the belligerent nations asking them "the 
precise objects which would, if attained, 
satisfy them and their people that the 
war had been fought out." Germany 
replied on December 26 that the only 
thing she was willing to consider was a 
meeting of representatives of the bel- 
ligerent nations while the war was con- 
tinued. 

The Allied reply was received on 
January 12, 1917. It was a compila- 
tion of the views of all the Entente 
Powers and demanded (1) restoration 
of Belgium, Serbia, and Montenegro 
with indemnities; (2) evacuation of in- 
vaded territories of France, Russia, and 
Rumania with reparation; (3) reor- 
ganization of Europe under guarantees 



to insure to all nations respect and lib- 
erty of development; (4) restitution of 
territories wrested in the past from the 
Allies by force or against the people's 
will; (5) liberation of Slavs, Ruman- 
ians, Italians, and Czecho-Slovaks from 
foreign domination; (6) enfranchise- 
ment of population subject to Turkey; 
(7) expulsion from Europe of the Ot- 
toman Empire. This note effectively 
stopped for the time being all attempts 
to bring about peace, inasmuch as the 
world realized that the demands of the 
Allies could be gained only on the bat- 
tlefield and not in a conference. 

Pope Benedict's Peace Appeal. — In 
August, 1917, Pope Benedict * sent an 
identical note to all the belligerent pow- 
ers on the subject of peace. The note 
as translated by the State Department 
at Washington was published in the 
American newspapers on August 16. 
The first paragraphs stated that the 
Pontificate has made every effort to re- 
main absolutely impartial and thus 
espouse the cause of no one group of 
belligerents. It relates the unsuccessful 
attempts to mediate at the end of the 
first year of the war and then states the 
"base of a just and lasting peace." . . . 
First, the fundamental point must be 

* Benedict XV (Giacomo deixa Chiesa). 
260th Pope, elected September 3, 1914. Born 
(1854) in Pagli, diocese of Genoa. Took de- 
gree in jurisprudence at University of Genoa. 
Ordained a priest in 18T8. In 1883 appointed 
secretary to the Nunciature at Madrid. On re- 
turn to Rome made permanent Under Secre- 
tary of the Secretariat of State. Made pre- 
late (1900), consultor of Holy Office (1901), 
Archbishop of Bologna (1907), and Cardinal 
(May, 1914). Known as man of diplomacy, 
cool and level-headed. Keen reverence for all 
traditions of the Vatican and foe of Modern- 
ism in Church. 



273 



274 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



that the material force of arms shall 
give way to the moral force of right, 
whence shall proceed a just agreement 
of all upon the simultaneous and recip- 
rocal decrease of armaments, accord- 
ing to rules and guarantees to be estab- 
lished, in the necessary and suffi- 
cient measure for the maintenance of 
public order in every State ; then tak- 
ing the place of arms, the institution of 
arbitration, with its high pacifying 
function, according to rule to be drawn 
in concert and under sanctions to be de- 
termined against any State which would 
decline either to refer international 
questions to arbitration or to accept its 
awards." 

The Pope then takes up the question 
of the war, and suggests absolute free- 
dom of the seas. He also asks for mu- 
tual restitution of all territory that has 
changed hands during the war. "As re- 
gards territorial questions, as, for in- 
stance, those that are disputed by Italy 
and Austria, by Germany and France, 
there is reason to hope that, in con- 
sideration of the immense advantages of 
durable peace with disarmament, the 
contending parties will examine them in 
a conciliatory spirit, taking into ac- 
count, as far as is just and possible, 
as we have said formerly, the aspira- 
tions of the population, and, if occasion 
arises, adjusting private opinions to the 
general good of the great human so- 
ciety." He suggested that the ques- 
tions of the Balkan States, Poland, and 
Armenia might be settled on the same 
principles. 

The press in Entente countries se- 
verely criticized the Pope's appeal on 
the grounds that it made no condemna- 
tion of Germany's atrocities, the inva- 
sion of Belgium and the submarine war- 
fare. The Pope replied to this by stat- 
ing that he was acting as a peacemaker 
and not as a judge and that if he at- 



tempted to decide which set of bel- 
ligerents was right his peace attempt 
was certain to be a failure. 

On August n, 1917, President Wil- 
son replied to the Pope's note through 
Secretary of State Lansing. It stated 
that, "Our response must be based upon 
the stern facts and upon nothing else." 
After reviewing the methods suggested 
in the Pope's note, the President's re- 
ply states : "It is manifest that no part 
of this programme can be successfully 
carried out unless the restitution of the 
status quo ante furnishes a firm and 
satisfactory basis for it. The object 
of this war is to deliver the free peo- 
ples of the world from the menace and 
the actual power of a vast military es- 
tablishment controlled by an irrespon- 
sible government which, having secretly 
planned to dominate the world, proceed- 
ed to carry out the plan without re- 
gard either to the sacred obligations of 
treaty or the long-established practices 
and long-cherished principles of inter- 
national action and honor ; which choso 
its own time for the war ; delivered its 
blow fiercely and suddenly ; stopped at 
no barrier either of law or of mercy ; 
swept a whole continent within the tide 
of blood — not the blood of soldiers only, 
but the blood of innocent women and 
children also and of the helpless poor; 
and now stands balked but not defeated, 
the enemy of four-fifths of the world. 
This power is not the German people. 
It is the ruthless master of the German 
people. . . . They (the American peo- 
ple) believe that peace should rest upon 
the rights of peoples, not the rights 
of governments — the rights of peoples 
great and small, weak or powerful — 
their equal right to freedom and secur- 
ity and self-government and to a par- 
ticipation upon fair terms in the eco- 
nomic opportunities of the world, the 
German people of course included if 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



275 



they will accept equality and not seek 
domination. . . . We cannot take the 
word of the present rulers of Germany 
as a guarantee of anything that is to 
endure, unless explicitly supported by 
such conclusive evidence of the will and 
purpose of the German people them- 
selves as the other peoples of the world 
would be justified in accepting. With- 
out such guarantees treaties of settle- 
ment, agreements for disarmament, 
covenants to set up arbitration in the 
place of force, territorial adjustments, 
reconstitutions of small nations, if 
made with the German government, no 
man, no nation can now depend on." 

President Wilson's reply to Pope 
Benedict received the hearty approval 
of the press of the United States. Even 
the German papers printed in that 
country seemed to favor the note. The 
Allies of the United States, through 
their statesmen and press, endorsed the 
stand taken and the more enthusiastic 
of them hailed Mr. Wilson as the 
spokesman of the Entente. In Germany 
the government and pan-German or- 
gans bitterly attacked the President's 
note, claiming that it was nonsense to 
say that the German people were op- 
pressed by an irresponsible government. 
They cited the fact that the entire Ger- 
man people had time and time again re- 
peated that they stand firmly behind the 
government. The Socialist newspaper, 
Vorwarts, stated editorially, "The gov- 
ernment of a country at war with us has 
a perfect right to demand that for the 
conditions under which peace is to be 
concluded the people themselves shall be 
the guarantee." Semi-official organs in 
France, Great Britain, Italy, and Rus- 
sia announced to the world that the re- 
ply of President Wilson represented 
their own attitude toward the peace 
proposal. 

The official replies of the German and 



Austro-Hungarian Empires were made 
public on September 22, 1917. The 
main theme of both notes was identical. 
It was that both empires agreed with 
the Pope's desire to have the right of 
might give way to moral force. Both 
stated that arbitration with efficient 
guarantees should follow an immediate 
disarmament by all the nations of the 
world. Freedom of the seas and the 
right of independent economic progress 
was inalienable to all nations. The 
press of the Entente countries passion- 
ately attacked the replies, not so much 
because of what was contained therein, 
but because of what was not said. Noth- 
ing was said of the evacuation, restitu- 
tion, and indemnification of Belgium, 
nothing of Alsace-Lorraine, nothing of 
Poland, Armenia, Trentino, etc. Sub- 
sequent statements by German diplo- 
mats refused absolutely to debate the 
question of Alsace-Lorraine. 

British Statement of War Aims. — 
At the beginning of 1918 a compre- 
hensive statement of British Labor war 
aims, passed by official representatives 
of the trade unions and the Labor par- 
ty, was made public. Its effect upon 
the governments of Great Britain and 
the other Allies was immediately per- 
ceptible and it continued to influence 
them in the formulation of war pur- 
poses throughout the year. It declared 
that "whatever may have been the ob- 
jects for which the war was begun, the 
fundamental purpose of the British la- 
bor movement is that the world may 
(henceforth be made safe for democ- 
racy." It opposed any attempt to turn 
the war into a war of conquest and de- 
clared that it should not be prolonged 
for a single day after the conditions for 
permanent peace could be obtained, but 
it held that certain reparations and res- 
titutions were necessary. These should 
be based on the principle of self-deter- 



276 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



mination of all the peoples concerned 
and should seek to remove the causes of 
future conflict. They included: Ger- 
man restoration of Belgium to complete 
independence, and reparation, under 
the direction of an international com- 
mission, of the wrong done; the right 
of the people of Alsace-Lorraine under 
the protection of a supernational au- 
thority, or League of Nations, to decide 
their own future political status ; the 
support of the claim of the people of 
Italian blood for union with their kins- 
folk, but the condemnation of Italian 
aims of conquest or imperialism; the 
settlement of other cases in dispute, 
such as those of Luxemburg, the Poles, 
and others, on the principle of self- 
determination by the peoples; the 
granting to the Jews of all lands the 
same rights of tolerance, freedom of 
residence, and equal citizenship that 
ought to be accorded to all the inhabi- 
tants of every nation. It recommended 
that Palestine be freed from Turkish 
domination and set up as an indepen- 
dent state, under international guaran- 
tee, to which Jews might return if they 
desired ; the neutralization of Constan- 
tinople and the placing of it along with 
a part or possibly all of Asia Minor 
under an impartial administration ; and 
the reorganization of the Balkans by a 
special commission or an international 
conference on the principles of: (1) 
Self-determination by the peoples with- 
out regard to Austria, Turkish, or oth- 
er alien control; (2) independent sov- 
ereignty of the predominant nationali- 
ties ; (3) universal adoption of reli- 
gious freedom, and equal citizenship of 
all races, and of local self-government ; 
(4) a customs union of all the Balkan 
states; (5) a federation of all national 
Balkan states for the joint voluntary 
arrangement of matters of common 
concern. It urged the abandonment 



by all the belligerents of all dreams of 
African Empire, and the transfer 
of the present colonies to a super- 
national authority or League of Na- 
tions. As to plans for an economic 
war after peace was secured, the Labor 
movement declared squarely against 
them. It favored government control 
of indispensable commodities for some 
time after the war in order to meet the 
needs of the whole community ; and it 
held that homes, factories, and farms 
destroyed by the war should be restored 
immediately upon the return of peace. 
It demanded a complete judicial inves- 
tigation of the charges that particular 
governments had ordered and particu- 
lar officers had committed acts of 
cruelty, violence, theft, and other of- 
fenses unjustified in the common usage 
of war ; and it recommended that a 
court of claims arid accusations should 
be set up in the interest of the non- 
combatant victims of such inhumanity 
and ruthlessness. The memorandum 
declared emphatically against imperi- 
alism in all countries ; and favored the 
complete democratization of all govern- 
ments, the universal abolition of com- 
pulsory military service, and the crea- 
tion of a supernational authority, or 
League of Nations, endowed with law- 
making authority and with power to en- 
force its decrees. 

In response to the continued demands 
that the Allies' war aims be distinctly 
declared, Mr. Lloyd George made a 
statement in regard to them in an ad- 
dress to the delegates of the trade 
unions on January 5. He said that the 
war aims of the Allies had been dis- 
cussed by him, the leaders of the La- 
bor party, with Mr. Asquith, Viscount 
Grey, and representatives of the Do- 
minions. He declared in the first place, 
that the Allies were not fighting against 
the German people, and were not seek- 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



277 



ing and had never sought to destroy 
or disrupt the German people or Ger- 
many, or to destroy Austria-Hungary, 
or to seize Constantinople, or to de- 
prive Turkey of those lands which are 
occupied by people mainly of Turkish 
race. He then outlined the purposes 
for which the Allies were fighting. They 
may be summarized as follows : 

1. — Europe. Complete restoration, 
political, territorial, and economic, of 
the independence of Belgium and such 
reparation as can be made for the de- 
vastation of its towns and provinces. 

Restoration of Serbia, Montenegro, 
and the occupied parts of France, Italy, 
and Rumania. 

Complete withdrawal of the alien 
armies and reparation for the injuries 
inflicted. 

Support of the French democracy in 
their demand for a reconsideration of 
the great wrong of 1871, when, with- 
out regard to the wishes of the popu- 
lation, two French provinces were torn 
from the side of France and incorpo- 
rated in the German Empire. 

An independent Poland, comprising 
all those genuinely Polish elements who 
desire to form part of it, an urgent ne- 
cessity for the stability of western 
Europe. 

Genuine self-government on true 
democratic principles to those Austro- 
Hungarian nationalities who have long 
desired it. 

Satisfaction of the legitimate claims 
of the Italians for union with those of 
their own race and tongue. 

Justice to men of Rumanian blood 
and speech in their legitimate aspira- 
tions. 

II. — Asia, and Africa. Constanti- 
nople to remain Turkish capital. 

Passage between the Mediterranean 
and the Black Sea to be international- 
ized. 



Arabia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, 
Syria, and Palestine entitled to recog- 
nition of their separate national con- 
ditions. 

German colonies held at the disposal 
of a conference whose decision must 
have primary regard to the wishes and 
interests of the native inhabitants of 
such colonies. 

III. — In General. Reparation for 
injuries done in violation of internation- 
al law, especially as regards British 
seamen. 

The establishment of some interna- 
tional organization of an alternative 
to war as a means of settling interna- 
tional disputes. 

Sanctity of treaties to be reestab- 
lished. 

A territorial settlement to be secured 
based on the right of self-determination 
or the consent of the governed. 

The creation of some international 
organization to limit the burden of ar- 
maments and diminish the probability 
of war. 

President Wilson's" Fourteen Points" 
Message. — Soon after Lloyd George 
had made this brief and general state- 
ment of war aims, President Wilson 
sent to Congress (January 8) an im- 
portant message which set forth his 
peace programme in considerable de- 
tail, summing up the essentials of a final 
settlement in fourteen points, which be- 
came the subject of extensive discussion 
in the closing months of the year. The 
fourteen points he stated as follows : 

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived 
at; after which there shall be no private in- 
ternational understandings of any kind, but 
diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and 
in the public view. 

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon 
the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in 
peace and in war, except as the seas may be 
closed in whole or in part by international 
action for the enforcement of international 
covenants. 



278 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



III. The removal, so far as possible, of all 
economic barriers and the establishment of 
an equality of trade conditions among all the 
nations consenting to the peace and associating 
themselves for its maintenance. 

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken 
that national armaments will be reduced to the 
lowest point consistent with domestic safety. 

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely im- 
partial adjustment of all colonial claims, based 
upon a strict observance of the principle that 
in determining all such questions of sover- 
eignty the interests of the populations con- 
cerned must have equal weight with the equi- 
table claims of the Government whose title 
is to be determined. 

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory, 
and such a settlement of all questions affecting 
Russia as will secure the best and freest co- 
operation of the other nations of the world 
in obtaining for her an unhampered and un- 
embarrassed opportunity for the independent 
determination of»her own political development 
and national policy, and assure her of a sin- 
cere welcome into the society of free nations 
under institutions of her own choosing; and, 
more than a welcome, assistance also of every 
kind that she may need and may herself de- 
sire. The treatment accorded Russia by her 
sister nations in the months to come will be 
the acid test of their good will, of their com- 
prehension of her needs as distinguished from 
their own interests, and of their intelligent 
and unselfish sympathy. 

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, 
must be evacuated and restored without any 
attempt to limit the sovereignty which she en- 
joys in common with all other free nations. 
No other single act will serve as this will serve 
to restore confidence among the nations in 
the laws which they have themselves set and 
determined for the government of their rela- 
tions with one another. Without this healing 
act the whole structure and validity of inter- 
national law is forever impaired. 

VIII. All French territory should be freed 
and the invaded portions restored; and the 
wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the 
matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unset- 
tled the peace of the world for nearly fifty 
years, should be righted, in order that peace 
may once more be made secure in the inter- 
est of all. 

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of 
Italy should be effected along clearly recog- 
nizable lines of nationality. 

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose 
place among the nations we wish to see safe- 
guarded and assured, should be accorded the 
freest opportunity of autonomous development. 

XI. Roumania, Serbia and Montenegro 
should be evacuated; occupied territories re- 



stored; Serbia accorded free and secure access 
to the sea, and the relations of the several 
Balkan states to one another determined by 
friendly counsel along historically established 
lines of allegiance and nationality; and inter- 
national guarantees of the political and eco- 
nomic independence and territorial integrity 
of the several Balkan states should be entered 
into. 

XII. The Turkish portions of the present 
Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure 
sovereignty, but the other nationalities which 
are now under Turkish rule should be assured 
an undoubted security of life and an absolute- 
ly unmolested opportunity of autonomous de- 
velopment, and the Dardanelles should be per- 
manently opened as a free passage to the 
ships and commerce of all nations under in- 
ternational guarantees. 

XIII. An independent Polish state should 
be erected which should include the territories 
inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, 
which should be assured a free and secure ac- 
cess to the sea, and whose political and eco- 
nomic independence and territorial integrity 
shoidd be guaranteed by international cove- 
nant. 

XIV. A general association of nations must 
be formed, under specific covenants, for the 
purpose of affording mutual guarantees of po- 
litical independence and territorial integrity 
to great and small states alike. 

The President's statement was sup- 
ported by Congress and the American 
press with surprising unanimity. Hard- 
ly any criticism of it appeared at the 
time. In Great Britain it was received 
with enthusiasm, as definitely stamping 
the Allied war aims with American ap- 
proval. It was declared to present es- 
sentially the same conditions as those 
laid down by Lloyd George. British 
labor organizations promptly en- 
dorsed and declared their unqualified 
support of a continuance of the war 
for these purposes. In the French press 
it was accepted by leading journals as 
an expression of French aims. Lloyd 
George answered in an Anglo-French 
declaration published a day or two later 
accepting its principles. Italy appar- 
ently supported it, though there were 
some suggestions that Italian aspira- 
tions in the Adriatic were not sufficient- 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



279 



ly emphasized. In Russia the official 
Bolshevik organ denounced the Presi- 
dent as the representative of capitalism 
and threw suspicion on his words of 
good-will toward Russia. 

The Central Powers on War Aims. — • 
On January 25, 1918, Count von Her- 
tling, imperial chancellor of Germany, 
and Count Czernin, Austro-Hungarian 
foreign minister, made their answers to 
the statements of Mr. Lloyd George and 
President Wilson. The principal points 
in Count von Hertling's reply were as 
follows : The Central Powers had been 
the first to favor extensive publicity of 
diplomatic agreements. The defensive 
alliance between Germany and Austria 
had been public ever since 1889, where- 
as the offensive agreements of the Al- 
lies were disclosed only through the 
present war and chiefly by Russia's 
publication of her secret documents. 
The Central Powers had again shown 
their adherence to the principle by the 
complete publicity which had been given 
to the peace negotiations of Brest- 
Litovsk. Mr. Wilson's principle of ab- 
solute freedom of navigation in peace 
and war was accepted by Germany, 
who, however, dissented from his quali- 
fication that this rule would not apply 
when the seas should be closed by in- 
ternational action. Germany also fully 
concurred in the demand that there 
should be no economic war. As to the 
reducing of armaments, the German 
government considered it entirely suit- 
able to discussion. In regard to the 
impartial adjustment of colonial claims 
in which the interests of the peoples con- 
cerned should have due weight, Ger- 
many believed there would be some dif- 
ficulty in applying this principle, but 
that for the present Great Britain 
should come to an understanding with 
her ally as to the nature of the pro- 
posal. Germany demanded uncondi- 



tionally the reconstruction of the co- 
lonial possessions of the world. To the 
demand that all the Russian territory 
be evacuated, and that Russia have full 
opportunity for self-development, he re- 
plied that since the Allies had not ac- 
cepted the proposal to take part in 
the Brest-Litovsk conference, the ques- 
tion concerned only Russia and the Cen- 
tral Powers. He declared in regard to 
Belgium that annexation was not part 
of the German plan but declined to dis- 
cuss the Belgian question so long as the 
Allies refused to admit that the only 
possible basis for peace negotiation 
was the integrity of the territory of the 
Central Powers. In regard to Alsace- 
Lorraine, he said that forcible annexa- 
tion was no part of the plan of Ger- 
many, but that Germany and France 
must settle the question between them- 
selves and that Germany would never 
consent to being robbed of the prov- 
inces. The invaded portions of France 
were a "valuable pawn" in the hands of 
Germany. The demand of President 
Wilson that the non-Turkish popula- 
tion in the Turkish Empire should be 
assured of self-government and that the 
Dardanelles should be permanently 
opened, he dismissed by saying that 
that point must be left to the Turkish 
statesmen. To the demand for an in- 
dependent Poland he replied that it was 
the Central Powers that had rescued 
Poland from Russia's despotism, that 
therefore it was the business of the Cen- 
tral Powers to settle the future of Po- 
land, and that this task had already 
well advanced. Finally, in regard to 
the League of Nations, he said that 
after all other questions had been set- 
tled the imperial government would be 
glad to investigate the principle of such 
an organization. 

Count Czernin's reply went further 
than von Hertling's toward meeting the 



280 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



American demands and the inconsist- 
ency between the two gave rise to much 
comment in the press, especially as the 
German foreign minister had declared 
that he completely agreed with the 
views of his Austro-Hungarian col- 
league. The main points in Count 
Czernin's reply were as follows : He 
had no objection to make to the plan for 
open diplomacy, although he did not see 
how it could be executed. He was en- 
tirely in accord with the President on 
the principle of absolute freedom of 
navigation. He approved as just and 
reasonable the removal of economic bar- 
riers. He approved heartily the Presi- 
dent's words in regard to reduction of 
armaments. As to Russian territory, 
Austria did not desire for herself any 
of the Russian land and said that be- 
tween the diverging views of the Rus- 
sian and German delegates in regard to 
the western provinces and Poland a mid- 
dle solution must be found. He made 
no specific reference to Belgium fur- 
ther than to say that Austria would de- 
fend the possessions of her ally as she 
would her own. He declared that Italy 
had neglected her opportunity to ex- 
pand before the war without any sac- 
rifice of life and that she had gone into 
the war simply with a view to her own 
advantage. He refused to discuss the 
demand that the peoples of Austria- 
Hungary should have an opportunity 
for self-development, saying that he 
could not accept advice as to the con- 
duct of the internal administration of 
Austria-Hungary. In regard to read- 
justment in the Balkans on lines of 
nationality, he said that he refused to 
make a one-sided concession to the en- 
emy. He dismissed the question of 
Turkey's status with the same general 
remark that he had applied to Belgium, 
namely, that Austria would defend the 
possessions of her war ally. He agreed 



to the proposal for a Polish indepen- 
dent state, saying that Austria-Hun- 
gary also desired it, and wished Poland 
to have a free decision. Finally he 
said that the idea of a League of Na- 
tions would probably meet with no op- 
position in Austria. 

President Wilson's Reply to the Cen- 
tral Poxmers. — In an address to Con- 
gress, February 11, 1918, President 
Wilson after traversing the arguments 
of Count von Hertling and Count Czer- 
nin, set forth four principles upon the 
acceptance of which a discussion of the 
terms of peace would be possible. These 
were, in brief: (1) Each part of the 
final settlement to be based on the es- 
sential justice of that particular case. 
(2) Peoples and provinces not to be 
bartered from one sovereignty to an- 
other as if they were chattels. (3) 
Every territorial settlement to be made 
in the interest of the populations con- 
cerned. (4) National aspirations to be 
satisfied to the utmost without intro- 
duction or perpetuating elements of dis- 
cord. 

The Sixtus Letter. — As noted above, 
Count Czernin informed the city coun- 
cil of Vienna that he agreed to the four 
principles laid down by Mr. Wilson in 
his address of February 11, and that 
only Alsace-Lorraine stood in the way 
of peace with France and thereupon 
Premier Clemenceau replied that such 
discussion as had taken place had been 
only at Austria's instance. M. Cle- 
menceau published later the celebrated 
"Sixtus Letter," dated March 31, 1917. 
This had been sent and received on the 
condition that it should be regarded as 
confidential. It was addressed by the 
Emperor Charles to Prince Sixtus of 
Bourbon, whom it requested to commu- 
nicate to specified French officials the 
Austrian emperor's desire for peace and 
his readiness to use his influence to 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



281 



bring it about, and to assure the grant- 
ing of the just claims of France in re- 
gard to Alsace-Lorraine and the resto- 
ration of Belgium and Serbia. It ap- 
pears to have been discussed by Presi- 
dent Poincare and Premier Clcmenceau 
together with a committee of French 
deputies and also by King George and 
the British premier, Lloyd George, but 
to have been dismissed as insincere. 
These points were brought out in the 
British parliament on May 16 in a re- 
ply of the British foreign minister, Mr. 
A. J. Balfour, to the questions raised 
by certain members of parliament who 
were identified with the policy of peace 
by negotiations. In the course of the 
discussion at that time, Mr. Balfour 
said that the government was ready to 
listen to peace proposals if they were 
brought forward by representatives of a 
country with which England was at 
war. 

German War Aims. — To the message 
of President Wilson on February 11 set- 
ting forth the four points upon which 
the negotiations might be based, the 
German chancellor, von Hertling, had 
replied that the four points were ac- 
ceptable but must be agreed to squarely 
by all the belligerents. The inde- 
pendence of Belgium was conceded, but 
under limitations to safeguard the in- 
terests of Germany. He said that the 
subject of Alsace-Lorraine was not de- 
batable and he declared that the only 
obstacle to peace was British imperial- 
ism. The attitude of the German gov- 
ernment was further illustrated by the 
address of the chancellor in the German 
parliament toward the end of June. He 
said that the proposal of the Society 
of Nations after the war would be in- 
jurious to Germany. He said that he 
had favored the four principles dis- 
cussed by President Wilson, but that 
from the views of the Allies as expressed 



since then, it was manifest that a peace 
based upon a league of nations would 
not be one that Germany could accept, 
for Germany's enemies would dominate 
it and isolate her. By their commer- 
cial rivalry and economic pressure they 
would stifle the economic life of Ger- 
many. On June 24 the Foreign Min- 
ister von Kiihlmann in the course of an 
address on Germany's war aims said in 
effect that the war could not be won by 
arms alone and that peace could only 
be had by negotiations. This aroused 
a storm of protest from the Pan-Ger- 
mans and Germans and was criticized 
from other points of view. By a part 
of the Allied press it was regarded as 
an attempt to make the enemies of Ger- 
many believe that favorable terms could 
be had at that time, whereas later Ger- 
many might not be willing to accord 
them. Von Kiihlmann afterwards ex- 
plained his words as meaning that while 
Germany intended to persevere until she 
was successful in a military sense, diplo- 
matic arrangements would have to fol- 
low, and he hoped the Entente Allies 
would offer terms appropriate to the 
situation and satisfactory to Ger- 
many's vital needs. The chancellor de- 
fended von Kiihlmann from the attacks 
that were made upon him, but neverthe- 
less it cost him his post and he resigned 
on July 9, being succeeded by Admiral 
von Hintzc. In spite of the distrust of 
von Kiihlmann's sincerity and in spite 
of the attacks made upon him in Ger- 
many, it appeared from subsequent 
events that the hopelessness of military 
victory was felt by a large and increas- 
ing number of Germans. Persons con- 
versant with German affairs reported 
later that they had observed distinctly 
as early as July the growing conviction 
that Germany was in a military sense 
beaten. In the debate that followed von 
Kiihlmann's speech, the leader of the 



282 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



minority Socialists made a bitter attack 
upon the government, blaming it for its 
ruthlessness in the matter of Belgium, 
its aggressive course, its imperialism, its 
constant misrepresentations as to the 
war, its atrocious conduct in Ukraine, 
etc. He pointed to one instance after 
another in which the government had 
cheated the people by the hope of suc- 
cess as in the case of the repeated as- 
surance that the submarine campaign 
would lead to victory and the frequent 
assertion that the United States would 
not enter the war. 

Other Peace Discussions in July, 
1918.— On July 16 the Austro-Hun- 
garian foreign minister, Baron Burian, 
who had succeeded Count Czernin, de- 
clared his approval in the main to the 
"four new points" which President Wil- 
son had stated in his Mount Vernon 
speech on July 4 and his readiness to 
discuss everything except what applied 
to the territory of the Dual Monarchy. 
He said the territorial claims of the Al- 
lies were inadmissible but that they 
alone stood in the way of a settlement. 
Austro-Hungarian internal affairs con- 
cerned Austria-Hungary alone, and 
their discussion by the Allies was "an 
offensive of irritation." On July 3, 
Lloyd George in a speech to the Na- 
tional Union of Manufacturers said the 
longer the war continued, the more se- 
vere would be the economic terms of 
the peace; that the fullest possible eco- 
nomic agreement between the Allies was 
necessary ; and that Great Britain must 
come to a complete understanding with 
her Allies and with her own Dominions 
in regard to the problem of raw ma- 
terials and transport. He declared for 
trade preference within the empire. On 
July 19, the French National Congress 
of Socialists passed a resolution calling 
upon the government to revise its war 
aims, denouncing imperialism, and de- 



claring for a Wilson peace. It also 
passed a resolution demanding immedi- 
ate negotiations for a League of Na- 
tions. At the same time Lord Lans- 
downe gave out his views, which attract- 
ed wide attention and caused sharp 
criticism as tending toward a policy of 
weakness. He said that the world was 
drained of men and money ; that the 
birth rate was falling off; that the de- 
sire for peace was widespread ; and that 
nevertheless the spokesmen of the bel- 
ligerent powers applied themselves 
merely to recrimination. He believed 
that now was the time for peace since 
the moment had come when the Allies 
were showing that they could hold their 
own in the conflict and he believed any 
reasonable proposal should be consid- 
ered. 

Alsace-Lorraine Question. — Early in 
June there was a demonstration in 
Switzerland on the part of the Alsace- 
Lorraine residents. Delegates from all 
of the Alsace-Lorraine organizations in 
Switzerland met in assembly in Berne. 
The committee on investigation pre- 
sented a report urging the final aban- 
donment of any idea of neutralization 
and declared for unconditional re-ab- 
sorption of Alsace-Lorraine in France. 
Among the Alsatians in Switzerland 
were many who had fought on the Ger- 
man side during the war and there were 
others who had lived in Switzerland a 
long time and become citizens. They 
unanimously expressed the wish to re- 
turn to France not only for reasons of 
sentiment but because they could not 
see any other guarantee for the peace- 
ful development of Europe in the fu- 
ture. Those who had formerly believed 
in neutralization seemed to have come 
over to this view. Swiss sentiment in 
general was on the same side. The 
question of a popular decision in Al- 
sace-Lorraine was much discussed dur- 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



283 



ing the year. The objections raised 
against the plebiscite were as follows: 
The proper field for the action of uni- 
versal suffrage was in the election to 
legislative bodies or the direct vote on 
measures submitted to the people by 
parliament as in the referendum. These 
decisions might be changed as popu- 
lar opinion varied, but when a popular 
vote decides the question of nationality 
that decision must be regarded as final. 
Yet such a vote could be very easily 
tampered with, and perhaps controlled 
in the interest of one side. The plebi- 
scite was generally opposed both by the 
French and the Alsace-Lorrainers. 
Since 1871 an inhabitant of Alsace- 
Lorraine had not been free to express 
his national preference and even now in 
voting he would be haunted by the mem- 
ory of all that he had suffered under 
the military dictatorship during the 
war, and he would think with dread of 
the revenge which Germany would take 
upon the minority if the decision were 
favorable to her. Secrecy of the bal- 
lot would do no good, for during many 
years the German authorities had spied 
upon and ascertained the views of all 
the natives. In these circumstances the 
weak and timid would all vote against 
their convictions and their real senti- 
ments. A good many of them would 
reason thus : If I displease the En- 
tente I can always get out of the diffi- 
culty without damage, but if I rouse 
the anger of Germany, woe betide me. 
In favor of the plebiscite it was said 
that it would bring Germany to terms 
and that she would renounce all fur- 
ther claims. Hence, it would consoli- 
date the peace. To this it was replied 
that Germany would never submit to a 
vote that was adverse to her. The lead- 
ers of Germany do not admit the right 
of peoples to dispose of themselves and 
they are opposed to a genuine plebi- 



scite. The reason why they consent to 
a consultation of the people is because 
they hope to bring pressure to bear 
upon the vote and more especially be- 
cause they expect as a result of that 
concession to obtain a peace which will 
leave them enough power to resume 
their schemes for dominating the 
world. 

In a debate in the German parlia- 
ment in the latter part of June the Ger- 
man view was indicated. One of the 
Socialist deputies said we must not be 
surprised if the population in Alsace- 
Lorraine is to-day full of hatred and 
the desire for revenge against Germany. 
Unless Alsace-Lorraine becomes a self- 
governing member of the state we shall 
lose the good-will of the people, even 
though retaining the country. If one 
were to organize to-day a plebiscite, 
four-fifths of the people would choose 
for France if only to get rid of our 
oppressive rule. A deputy on the op- 
posite side expressed the hope that 
these ideas were false, but he added that 
the pro-German tendency in Alsace- 
Lorraine had wholly disappeared, 
doubtless because the conviction ob- 
tained among the people that the En- 
tente would come out victorious in the 
war. In England at about the same 
time reference was made to the attempt 
of the Germans to give the impression 
that the war had been imposed upon 
them by France because France wished 
to reconquer Alsace-Lorraine and that 
the claim of France to those provinces 
was the only thing that stood in the 
way of a reasonable peace. This was 
characterized in England as elsewhere 
among the Allies as merely the attempt 
of Germany to cause discord among 
the members of the Entente. As soon 
as the armistice was signed (November 
11), the French government began to 
take the necessary measures for the for- 



284 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



mal recovery of the provinces, and 
three commissioners were appointed to 
act for the government in their three 
respective divisions, namely, Alsace, 
Upper Alsace, and Lorraine. Mean- 
while the armies of the Allies had al- 
ready occupied parts of the provinces 
in their advance toward Germany. See 
above under Military Operations. 

Dissensions Among the Central Pow- 
ers. — During 1918 there was much 
discussion in the press of the clash 
between the respective ambitions of 
the Turkish and Bulgarian govern- 
ments. It was evident that Ferdinand 
of Bulgaria aimed at leadership in the 
Balkans and that he had not consoled 
himself for the check of 1913, when he 
hoped to find the way open to Con- 
stantinople. But the ambitions of the 
Turks were awakened by the downfall 
of Russia. They wished to control 
Russian Armenia and to gain a foot- 
hold in the Caucasus and were believed 
to be coveting the Crimea, with the ap- 
parent aim of turning the Black Sea 
into a Turkish lake. These designs 
alarmed Bulgaria and the conflict in 
aims between the two governments was 
brought in the affair of the Maritza 
on one hand and the affair of the Do- 
bruja on the other. The treaty of 
Bucharest (see above) had given ab- 
solute possession to Bulgaria of only 
the northern part of the Dobruja and 
this was far from satisfying her. The 
least she expected was the annexation 
of the whole Dobruja. This, however, 
was opposed by the Turks ; and the 
German government, failing to bring 
the two rivals into harmony, adopted 
the policy of joint control for north- 
ern Dobruja. The Bulgarians, on the 
other hand, refused to yield to the 
Turks in the affair of the Maritza. On 
the right bank of this river the Central 
Powers, in order to win the Bulgarians 



to their side, had obliged the Turks to 
cede to Bulgaria the station of Adria- 
nople in 1915, and the main line to 
Constantinople was thus left at the 
mercy of the Bulgarians — a situation 
highly objectionable to the Turks, who 
therefore demanded the revision of that 
agreement. In this demand they were 
supported by the Germans. The Bul- 
garians sharply refused and in one of 
their papers, on June 19, a writer re- 
marked that Bulgaria was surprised at 
the attitude of the Turks, who seemed 
to assume that agreements between al- 
lies were merely scraps of paper. The 
German government apparently was 
having difficulty in keeping the peace 
with them. Her policy inclined toward 
Turkey and this was explained in the 
press of the Entente Allies on the 
ground that Germany wished to con- 
solidate her power all the way from 
Constantinople to Bagdad. Bulgaria's 
attitude, on the other hand, was dis- 
turbing and her czar showed little in- 
clination to work for the King of Prus- 
sia. The design of a greater Bulgaria 
threatened Germany's plan for the con- 
trol of the routes to the east. That is 
why she hesitated to surrender the whole 
of the Dobruja and encourage Turkey 
to claim Adrianople. 

The German government had given 
Bulgaria the right to annex eastern 
Serbia, but the Bulgarian government 
was apparently not satisfied with that 
so long as the status of the Dobruja 
was not determined in its favor. Tur- 
key had insisted that the question of 
the Dobruja should form part of the 
whole subject of the Turkish-Bulgarian 
frontier and the German government 
for the present consented to this. The 
Turks opposed the granting of the 
Dobruja to Bulgaria so long as the lat- 
ter did not offer any compensation. 
While the Turkish-Bulgarian dispute 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



285 



continued the German government took 
the stand that it could not settle these 
questions and it would not make good 
its alleged promises to give Bulgaria 
the Greek towns of Calvalla, Drama, 
and Seres. At this time the Czar Ferdi- 
nand was reported in the press to have 
taken a long journey in foreign parts 
and this was supposed to mean that he 
had gone to Berlin to press his claim. 
At the same time the Bulgarian prime 
minister, M. Radoslavoff, who was 
friendly to Germany, resigned and was 
succeeded by an anti-German, M. Mali- 
noff. This was attributed to resent- 
ment at Germany's attitude and at her 
niggardliness in provisioning Bulgaria, 
where the food situation had become 
critical. Now that von Hintze had 
succeeded to von Kiihlmann, there 
seemed a better chance for Bulgaria be- 
cause von Hintze had from the begin- 
ning shown sympathy with the Pan- 
German element and the Pan-Germans 
heartily supported Bulgaria's claim 
both to the Dobruja and to the Greek 
cities. They favored the plan for the 
greater Bulgaria of the future which 
should include even Saloniki. 

As to the difficulty between Germany 
and Turkey, it was regarded at the 
beginning of August to be so acute as 
to threaten a rupture. This, however, 
seemed improbable, for the Young 
Turks who were in power were not like- 
ly to come to any agreement with the 
Entente Allies. The Allies could not 
recognize a government which was 
founded upon the crimes of Enver, Ta- 
laat and Djemal and which still held 
under its tyranny the Armenians and 
Syrians. The Allies would have to in- 
sist upon the liberation of those peo- 
ples and to this the Young Turk gov- 
ernment would never consent. Compro- 
mise seemed out of the question. Never- 
theless the relations between Germany 



and Turkey appeared to be far from 
harmonious. Germany had large de- 
signs in the East and hoped to realize 
them by the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 
to which Turkey had agreed in return 
for certain concessions in the Caucasus. 
But now that Turkey virtually demand- 
ed the sole control of the Black Sea, 
which would eventually bar the way of 
Germany toward the East, there was 
much indignation in Germany, where 
the press bitterly denounced what they 
characterized as Ottoman chauvinism. 
The Turk retorted with the same ar- 
guments for their course in the Cau- 
casus as the Germans had employed on 
behalf of an independent Flanders, that 
is to say, Turkey argued that just as 
the Germans had undertaken to create 
an independent state in that part of 
Belgium which was akin to them in race, 
so the Turks wished to recognize the 
movement for independence on the part 
of their own kinsmen in the Caucasus. 
At other points the Turks were said to 
have ambitions inconsistent with the 
purposes of Germany: For example, 
Germany wished the Turks to drive the 
British from occupied territory, espe- 
cially in Mesopotamia, but the Turks 
realized that the task was too great and 
sought objects less difficult to attain in 
the Caucasus, Persia, and in the Black 
Sea. The German press reproached 
the Turks bitterly for this policy, say- 
ing that instead of trying to encroach 
in the direction of the Caspian and 
Baku, they should turn their efforts 
toward Bagdad. Turkey was accused 
even of coveting the Crimea and its 
ports in order that the Ukraine should 
not become a Black Sea power and of 
aiming to secure in the Caucasus a bar- 
rier against Russia in the East in or- 
der to protect Turkish communications 
with Persia. In short, a portion of the 
German press believed that Turkey was 



286 



A REFERENCE HISTORY OF THE WAR 



aiming to turn the Black Sea into a 
Turkish lake and thereby choke off all 
trade from European Russia. 

The chief difficulty between Germany 
and Austria-Hungary arose from the 
question of Poland. The Germans had 
thought that von Burian would be less 
insistent in regard to Poland than his 
predecessor, Czernin, but to their sur- 
prise he had declared that the incor- 
poration of the Polish kingdom in the 
Austro-Hungarian monarchy was a 
vital necessity. In the German press it 
was said squarely that German interests 
were superior to Austrian interests ; 
that the Germans would consider the 
Polish question from the German point 
of view, which required that there 
should be a strong strategic frontier. 
The safety of Germany was the first 
consideration. The Germans had not 
won their victories in order to be en- 
circled on the east by a Polish-Galician 
state. Some Pan-German organs de- 
manded that the Austro-Polish solu- 
tion be rejected at once. They said 
that after the arrangement following 
the meeting of the two emperors the 
German public had believed that this 
Austro-Polish plan had been abandoned. 
Seldom, they said, had a project been 
rejected more unanimously by public 
opinion, ■ and they complained of its 
revival. The Austrian emperor by go- 
ing to German military headquarters 
(May 12) for his famous interview with 
the kaiser had given the impression that 
he had abandoned his Polish claim. 
Shortly after he had returned to Vienna 
the whole project reappeared. It 
looked as if there was a real disagree- 
ment between the governments and as 
if Germany had been deceived. They 
demanded that the two governments 
promptly come to an agreement for the 
definite settlement of Poland's status 
so that the Entente Allies would be 



brought face to face with it as an ac- 
complished fact. 

As time went on it became apparent 
that the difficulties between Hungary 
and Austria were growing more and 
more serious. Hungary believed her- 
self to be supported by Berlin. A Hun- 
garian journal declared Hungary would 
have the right even to interfere in the 
internal affairs of Austria and added 
significantly that perhaps even now the 
time had come that Berlin and Buda- 
pest would have to interfere and insist 
that Austria should pursue a policy 
faithful to the Allies. In Germany 
there seemed from the newspapers to 
be strong sympathy with Hungary, 
though this was perhaps for the pur- 
pose of stirring up enmity between the 
two parts of the Dual Monarchy. For 
example, a German newspaper declared 
that it seemed extremely probable that 
Austria would fall to pieces. The 
Czechs, Poles, Southern Slavs, and 
other races with very divergent aims 
were all struggling for their complete 
independence, and feeling themselves too 
cramped within the Austrian state, they 
were sure to separate sooner or later. 
A German journal in Berlin declared 
that the only salvation for Austria was 
to transform herself into a Federal 
state. With only 10,000,000 Germans, 
it said, against 18,000,000 non-Ger- 
mans there would necessarily always be 
hostility on the part of the latter. The 
state could not exist unless it were 
transformed into a Federal organiza- 
tion. Thus, part of the German press 
sustained the same principle that Presi- 
dent Wilson had advocated, but this was 
interpreted by the press of the Allies as 
a step to the ultimate organization of 
the nations of Austria under the con- 
trol of Germany. With Hungary on 
her side, and with the Slav races pla- 
cated, there would be a chance for Ger- 



PEACE PROPOSALS AND WAR AIMS 



287 



many to work out a system of control. 
Peace Discussions in August and 
September. — Mr. Balfour, the British 
foreign minister, reaffirmed British 
aims in an address in the House of Com- 
mons early in August. He announced 
that Great Britain would not consent 
to the return of the German colonies 
and that Germany was dominated by 
the moral doctrine of the mailed fist. 
Dr. Solf, the German colonial secre- 
tary, made an attack on the Allied at- 
titude on August 20. He asked where 
the blame lay. He said that the enemy 
had renounced the ideal of a League 
of Nations inasmuch as he had decided 
upon an economic war against Ger- 
many. He said that the German gov- 
ernment had already declared that Bel- 
gium would not be kept by Germany. 
This, he said, disposed of the preten- 
sion that Belgium was at present a 
cause of the war. As to the attack on 
Germany's eastern policy, he said that 
the Brest-Litovsk peace was made by 
agreement between the Russian and 
German governments and that it per- 
mitted the frontier peoples of Russia, 
after centuries of oppression, to live 
their own lives ; also, that the only dif- 
ference between Russians and Germans 
in regard to the peace had to do with 
the ways and means of conferring in- 
dependence upon these border peoples. 
The Germans insisted upon safeguards 
against anarchy. He declared that the 
Brest-Litovsk peace was the framework 
of a policy which in future would be car- 
ried out. He came to the conclusion 
that the enemy would not want peace 
by negotiation and he declared that he 
was waging a war for plunder and 
glory and was carried away by arro- 
gance. As to the extreme views of Ger- 
many, he spoke of the Pan-Germans as 
a small group without influence in poli- 
tics and without influence in the gov- 



ernment. Lord Robert Cecil on behalf 
of England issued a statement in an- 
swer to Dr. Solf. He denied that the 
Pan-German element was without 
power, pointing to the fact that only 
a few weeks before von Kuhlmann was 
dismissed for saying that Germans 
could not have everything their own 
way and Count von Hertling, the chan- 
cellor, had to make an explanation. As 
to Belgium, the chancellor had said he 
looked upon it as a pledge, adding that 
it would become closely related in com- 
mercial association with Germany. As 
to the Brest-Litovsk treaty, it was evi- 
dent that those border peoples had been 
so constituted as to have as little in- 
dependence as possible. As to the Ger- 
man colonies, he denied the moral right 
of Germany to be a protector of the 
colored colonies ; characterizing their 
rule as brutal and callous. During 
September there was a threefold peace 
movement on the part of the Central 
Powers, comprising three features: 
First, a note from the Austro-Hunga- 
rian g